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SCTE: Filling a dire need

SCTE, the Society for Broadband Professionals, started life in 1945 as The Society of Relay Engineers and has morphed its way through many technology eras to become agnostic with regard to content delivery methods.

From radio wireless it saw TV arrive and reach remote homes via four twisted pairs. “About 1952 we decided to become Cable and TV Engineers (SCTE) and that went through several stages,” said president Roger Blakeway.

“By the time we had gone through the 80’s with broadband TV being introduced by Margaret Thatcher (Hunt Report), the duopoly review took place and cable operators were allowed to provide switched telephony,” he added. “By 1995, we were all cable operators putting in telephony overlays.”

No longer cable TV, the initials stayed the same and the business morphed into cable modems and networks providing pure data. How does SCTE attract members?

“We have always held that there is a dire need in this industry,” said Blakeway. “None of the universities or technical colleges teach installation of cable type networks, or even their design.

“We saw that was an enormous gap, because those people being trained had no professional career path,” Blakeway added. “There was a need for an infrastructure, and like other learned institutes they can become Fellows. That is a career structure many technical people would not get any other way.”

SCTE is seeking nominations for its 2015 individual and technological innovation awards, which recognise success in the broadband industry. These start with the Technician of the Year, the Richard Harris Member of the Year Award and the Tom Hall Award. The other awards, plus one for winner of the best overall submission, are for Best Broadband Network Transmission Solution, Best CPE Solution, and Best Digital Processing Solution.

The awards ceremony will take place at SCTE’s 70th anniversary dinner on 27 June, 2015 at The Tower of London.