Can You Say INTX?

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Can You Say INTX?

Comment: It is supposed to be a “mashup at the crossroads of entertainment, communications, technology and the Internet” …

You can check out the full schedule at the real url ( … but I hope you glanced at the parody url ( on net neutrality.  Apparently, the show folks were too cheap to buy it from the url hoarder.

Chalk one up for NCTA and Re/Code, though … lots of exhibitors, 232 to be exact with many of them a little outside of past categories.  There are still plenty of programmers around and big important tech suppliers like Arris.  The real story though is the realization that cable still knows how to reinvent itself and change directions … as it has again and again.  From paired wire only retransmitting broadcast (giving them wider coverage! those ingrates!) to coaxial cable and multiple channels of original (or rerun) programming to fiber optics and hundreds of channels and Internet Protocol and lots of freeloader content.  So, cable’s 4th Generation can go hunting on the floor for some of what might be next.

I say 4th because the Cable Center’s Larry Satkowiak has published a mini-book history of cable’s first three generations that you’ll get at the show -- where you’ll also find a remarkably complete poster from Mosaik Solutions and the Cable Center showing cable’s history up through those three generations.

            • The 1st; The Age of Entrepreneurial Pioneers; 1948-1973

            • The 2nd: The Age of Satellite and Cable Programming; 1973-1995

            • The 3rd: The Age of Innovation; 1995-2015

            • The 4th: The Age Yet-To-Be-Named; 2015-Whenever

What’s exciting is the 4th is poised to remake the entire telecommunications and communications industry again.  So, hold on!  Got a name idea?  Send it to me!

About the book and the poster.  The book grew out of the need for a way to concisely explain how cable got to where it is today: right in the middle of the Internet and digital explosions.  More people access the Internet via cable (and cable’s growing wi-fi hotspots) than any other way … although mobile -- in part thanks to cable’s proliferating wi-fi -- is growing faster than any other mode of access.

As Multichannel News’ Mark Robichaux puts it, “The Cable Industry is a story about dreamers; a tale of broadband pioneers hell bent on reinventing themselves to deliver the most comprehensive news and entertainment choices the world has ever seen.”

Also in the welcome packet is a very big poster that illustrates cable’s history from the perspective of how the largest MSOs got so large.  A joint project of Mosaik Solutions, Inc. and the CableCenter, the poster visually presents cable’s history up until today.  Working from a year of researching almost every publically recorded system sale and/or transfer, the poster traces just how cable got to dominate TV viewing and Internet access.  As a sort of bonus, all of Cody Maxwell’s (yep, my daughter) research will wind up in the Cable Center.

More info than ever resides there; much of it available on the website.

Other Items of Interest:

My new book “The Revolutionary Evolution of the Media” continues! Go here to read the latest chapter.

Good friends are joining the Cable TV Pioneers at the annual dinner on Monday evening … black tie and boots and lots of hugs and laughter.  On Tuesday, the Cable Center Hall of Fame welcomes new members on Navy Pier.  And on Wednesday night is the annual Chairman’s Reception … tickets or personal invites are needed for all three events.  Wishing everyone a very successful week in Chicago.

Now that the real Tom Wheeler stood up, will he show up and tell Brian Roberts, “I told you so?”  Sure would like to know what Tom thinks about Steve Effros’ diatribe in last week’s CableFAX pointing out the FCC is backing the much, much bigger users of the Internet over the companies that actually build the infrastructure.

Lots of happenings on the floor as new vendors pushing OTT-like distribution aids and very specialized ad targeting are exhibiting and serving on panels.  Sure ought to make CAB happy … like last Friday’s meeting pitching cable to digital advertisers.

Of note as the spectrum auction awaits, will DISH find yet another unique compliance technique for the bidding?  Will the FCC marshal a set of, umm, marshals to keep wiggle room down?

Hall Monitor: look out for merger and acquisition rumors to fill the hallways, byways, luncheons and dinners.  Let’s see who comes up with wildest rumors!

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