Friday, October 24, 2014

Cord Cutting/Shaving Discussion

Cord cutting or cord shaving is when consumers drops their paid video service and purchase a broadband-only service from their local access SP, telco or cable. In the U.S., numerous estimates show more than 300,000 subscribers switched to broadband only in 2Q14. This is significantly lower than previous quarters. Yet it is still significant. SPs need to monitor this trend to see of it is in fact slowing or grow.

The economic impact of cord cutting has reverberations throughout the ecosystem. For the SP it merely shifts revenue and margin to the broadband business. For the ecosystem, revenues and margins are shifted to the OTT player such as Netflix and adversely affect the traditional “upstream” value chain including channels, for example, ESPN, TV and movie producers and advertisers.
This trend is impacted by consumer viewing habits. The younger generations are more mobile and are less likely to spend limited discretionary dollars on a large-screen TV and also to pay for a subscription video service. Video subscriptions are also impacted by macro economic trends. Broadband has become the last service to be eliminated.
Tomorrow's "real cord cutting" refers to consumers who completely stop all services from a wired service provider and go completely wireless. We have seen the prequel with the elimination of a "home phone." This next-generation cord cutting has consumers relying on their 4G/LTE/5G service for all broadband applications. This can be accomplished by simply turning their smart phone into a Wi-Fi access point when in their home. The economic impacts of next-generation real cord cutting are severe. The fixed access service providers not only lose all service revenues but also lose customers entirely. This will be particularly painful for cable MSOs that lack integrated wireless services.

As 4G/LTE and eventually 5G deployments expand and as more small cells get deployed the average bandwidth per device will increase substantially. Slowing down real cord cutting will be the price of mobile data plans and data CAPS, which will eliminate the intended savings in the first place. Service providers with wireless assets will be in a strong position to succeed in this future scenario. Other, such as cable MSOs, will need to address their pricing plans, which are driving customers away in the first place. They can also compete with unique content, primarily "sports and wars," (for example, live programming) and push for better quality video, such as emerging 4K technologies.  
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Cloud (Network) PVR Discussion

After a delay due to legal review, which was settled favorably to the SPs’ network, DVR/PVRs (N-PVR) are being deployed in earnest by all SPs. N-PVRs are becoming mainstream: In addition to improving the consumers’ experiences they also offer numerous business values to the SP. N-PVRs are also a great step toward virtualization and the move to everything on demand. Simply put, an N-PVR is a DVR that resides in the cloud. When a viewer stores a program, instead of it being stored on a hard disk drive located inside the set-top box, the program (or metadata) is stored on a server or CDN cache located in the service provider’s network.
N-PVRs benefit both the service provider and the consumer. Service providers benefit substantially on both CAPEX and OPEX. Service providers have a love-hate relationship with the set-top box. They love them because they provide a managed service enablement platform in each home, yet they hate them because they account for about 50% of total CAPEX. Interesting to note is providers argue they are part of the network when it is convenient and argue that they are CPE when it is not. The latter is because of regulator ambiguity of TITLE VI in the U.S.

By eliminating the hard drive from every set-top the cost of the box is reduced, directly impacting CAPEX. Hard drives, being mechanical devices, will fail. The elimination of the drive thus increases the reliability of the box and reduces angry customer support calls and truck rolls. This directly impacts OPEX. Without a hard drive the set-top box will consume less energy, supporting the SPs’ goal of meeting the voluntary energy reduction agreement the industry and the U.S. Department of Energy (Note, not the FCC) signed in early 2014.

N-PVRs store consumer “save” programming in the cloud. This simplifies whole home DVR and video everywhere service offerings. With N-PVR all consumer playback originates in the network and not the primary set-top box. Although newer homes have coax cable widely installed throughout the home the bulk of homes do not. All in-home technology deployments are challenging to the SP because of the high variability in both the housing stock and in consumer sophistication. With the N-PVR all video streams are delivered from the network as “just another” channel.

N-PVRs benefit the move to TV everywhere or TV to all devices. In the home consumers watch TV programming on all of their devices. Because Wi-Fi is the common fabric connecting every device, N-PVR based video programming can be sent via the broadband connection and over the Wi-Fi network to all devices. Thus, consumers can view stored programming on all their devices, and the SP does not have to contend with home networking issues.
The N-PVR takes this concept out of the home as well. Consumers can view stored program from anywhere on any device with a broadband connect. This also applies to the delivery of programming on smart phones via 4G/LTE connections. In each of these cases, the stored SP programming is treated as over-the-top (OTT) and facing the same challenges pure OTT suppliers face such as quality of service and data usages. Equally, they can benefit from the innovation in the OTT marketplace.

This everywhere DVR experience also presents a new revenue opportunity to the SP. Targeted advertising and local ad insertion take on new meaning. For example, if a Boston-based consumer is watching a stored program from San Francisco, why show the ad Boston-based car dealership? Similarly, with smart phone location-based services being widely deployed, the SP can insert a targeted ad based on the user’s real-time location.

As illustrated, N-PVRs not only offer consumers a better video experience, they offer the SP real business value: reduction of both CAPEX and OPEX and creation of new revenue generating opportunities. Properly deployed, the N-PVR infrastructure will create the foundation for everything on demand and the move to virtual set-top boxes. Given these factors, SPs should deploy N-PVRs aggressively with the caveat that they must take a long-term strategic approach of viewing N-PVRs as the first application of the platform and not the only application. 

To discuss this please contact me at

Monday, June 30, 2014

Does Anyone Doubt IoT is at the Peak of the Hype Curve?

Yikes!  That's all I need to say about the excessive hype of anything and everything IoT these days.  From the connected refrigerator, the connected car, wearables, et al the hype in this market is out of control.  Every industry leader from Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon is staking their claim as the industry thought leader.  The same is true for hundreds of smaller companies.  The only thing clear is that IoT is at the peak of the hype curve.

M2M (Machine-to-Machine) applications have been around for decades and have been and are quite successful.  Many are based on industry standard protocols and millions of "things" are connected via the cellular network.  Nothing new here.  Remote sensors connected via some network to a centralized location where the sensor's data is aggregate, analyzed and acted upon.

Once the hype "bubble" crashes many real markets will be widely successful.  You will know what markets they are since they will not include the acronym IoT in their description.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

IoT Success: Batteries & Backhaul...& Transparency

The Internet of Things (IoT) is riding high at the peak of the Hype Cycle.  Is it a $17 Trillion market or merely a $10 Trillion market?  Depends on what you include in your definition of a "thing".  The more you include the bigger the market.  

IoT applications have a basic common architecture as shown in Figure 1. IoT digitizes some analog parameter and sends it to the "cloud" for analysis and possible action.   The primary factors that all IoT or M2M applications must address are Batteries, Backhaul and Transparency.  

Let's address the transparency issue first.  In quantum physics there's the "uncertainty principle".  Simply put is says that whenever you measure a system you disturb it.  Since most IoT applications measure a real world analog phenomena (e.g., temperature, pressures, et al) the "thing" must do so with minimal impact on the system you are measuring.   Transparency parameters include cost (CAPEX and OPEX), size, weight, aesthetics etc. 

Batteries, or more generally power, is a critical parameter within IoT applications.  If you require grid power you lose some transparency and limit your ability to deploy the thing.  Not every location will be close enough to the grid to be able to be powered by it.  Remote sensors will require batteries.  These batteries must last many months and even many years.  

Even IoT applications within the home must address the battery issue.  Take a simple motion detector.  The ideal placement is in the corner of the room near the ceiling.  Not many power outlets near by.  Thus the customer can either install an outlet close by, move the sensor close to the outlet (i.e., near the floor) or have to see the wire dropping down to the nearest outlet.  Batteries solve this problem.  However, if they need to be replaced every month the value and transparency quickly depreciates.  What if this motion detector is part of a security perimeter for a high value asset (e.g., power plant).  If the good guys need to replace the batteries periodically it will show the bad guys where these "hidden" sensors are.  Thus, batteries are critical to the success of the application and can make or break a business case.  

The "I" in "IoT" is for "Internet", meaning internet protocols (IP).  The digital data of the analog phenomena must be sent to the cloud via some type of network. This is referred to as Backhaul.  Networking options are plentiful  and include 2G/3G/4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, Zig-Bee, Satellite, Blue Tooth, Ethernet and local broadband options.  The technology selected depends on the application and on parameters such as data rates, latency, cost and what's available.  The more remote the thing is the less options are likely available.  The selection of a backhaul solution must address both transparency and battery issues discussed above.  

There are other issues and parameters that need to be address to make an IoT application successful.  For example, the cloud solution (e.g., "big data" base, analytics, heuristics, et al) are not trivial yet they are solvable engineering problems.  The same is true for the "thing" or sensor. For most all you have to do is go to the Analog Device catalog and select a chip.  Again, non trivial but solvable.  Thus, batteries and backhaul and transparency are critical make-or-break parameters to ensure success of your IoT application.

To discuss this please email me at

Other articles can be found at

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Next Cord Cutting: Real Cord Cutting

Today "cord cutting" refers to consumers who stop paying for TV and go broadband only from the cable or telecom company.  This is more accurately called "cord shaving".  The economic impact is significant but it's more of a redistribution.  More money to "Netflix" and less to the service provider for video.  Yet, more to the latter for higher capacity broadband that provides higher margins.

Tomorrow's "Real Cord Cutting" refers to consumers who completely stop all services from a wired service provider.  The go completely wireless.  We've seen the prequel with the elimination of a "home phone".  This next generation cord cutting has consumers relying on their 4G/LTE service for all broadband services.  This can be accomplished by simply turning their smart phone into a Wi-Fi access point when in their home.  The economic impacts of next generation real cord cutting are severe. The fixed access service provides not only lose all service revenues they lose customers entirely.

As 4G/LTE deployments expand and as more small cells get deployed the average bandwidth per device will increase substantially.  When the Netflix threshold (e.g., when the quality of streaming video is acceptable) is only a matter of time.  Slowing down real cord cutting will be the price of mobile data plans which will eliminate the intended savings in the first place.   Service providers with wireless assets will be in a strong position to succeed in this future scenario.  Other, such as cable MSOs will need to address their pricing plans which are driving customers away in the first place.  They can also compete with unique content, primarily "Sports and Wars", (i,e., live programming) and push for better quality video such as emerging 4K technologies.

Today's cord cutting is growing significantly especially in the under 30 demographic.  Tomorrow's real cord cutting will occur and will have substantial economic disruption for the entire ecosystem.

For past article please visit 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Last Mile.. All local loops are local.

This is a great quote that captures the real challenges of the last mile.  Notice these challenges are not technical.  To adapt a quote from Tip O'Neal (Speaker of the U.S. House (D-MA)  circa 1980s) ....  All local loops are local. 

"The last mile. It sounds easy, it's only a mile, after all – but the problem is, there are just so darned many of them. Wireless or Fixed, the last mile is a massive, poorly-scaling problem that manifests itself with trucks, cherry pickers, tower climbers, backhoes, manholes, labor unions, vandals, and byzantine local regulations and by-laws. What's to love? But as wireless modulation schemes approach the Shannon-Hartley limit, the last mile will increasingly be where we see networks scale to meet the surging demand for mobile capacity. "

From a meeting notice of the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Open Internet + Fast Lane: Win for Consumers: Yet Trust but Verify

The recent move by the FCC is a win for Consumers.  Yet, it's important the FCC "Trust but Verify".

Let's look at who will be the winners with the new FCC rules.  The Consumers.  Consumers will be the ultimate winners.  First, the ISPs will get a fair return on their capital investments and will have the incentive to invest in more bandwidth. Which enables wave after wave of innovation.   Second, those companies that pay for the fast lane will be those that consumers want and have a willingness to pay for.  Netflix for example.

Keep in mind that the FCC proposal STILL prohibits the ISP for degrading traffic.  Thus, those consumer applications in high demand get preferred treatment for the last 50 miles of the network (CDN Cache to home) and all other traffic gets treated the same it's always been.

The argument that small start up companies will be disadvantages is hollow.  It will force entrepreneurs to innovate more to deliver a compelling product to consumers.  It's just another market force to overcome.  It will raise the bar and eliminate the marginal applications from clogging the network.   This is no different than supermarket shelf space, a large barrier to entry.  Coke and Pepsi dominate.  Yet, look at all the upstart beverage companies that keep gaining shelf space.  They're doing this by creating innovative products that consumers want.  Not by whining to some federal regulator.

Why do industry pundits complain when Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, et al get  fair return on their investment and look the other way when Google, Amazon, et al make $1000's per second? 

Therefore, Consumers are the big winner here.  A) More bandwidth B) More innovation and C) Less marginal applications.

Given that the FCC is charted, via the Congress, to protect consumers this new Fast Lane approach is a step in the right direct.  However, the service providers must be careful not to over use this opportunity.  Hence, the "Trust But Verify" mantra.

Telco's and Cableco's must know that the FCC will be closely monitoring this new ruling (assuming it gets implemented).  They must adopt a high level of transparency to eliminate complaints from consumers.  Remember, all it takes is some savvy lawyer to get a single citizen to file a complaint.  To prevent endless litigation and legal costs that effectively eliminate the economic value to the "fast lane",  service providers need to provide this high level of transparency to avoid an FCC mandated higher level of transparency.

SPs should freely adopt a level of transparency that satisfies consumers and their advocates and limits the level of proprietary disclosure to their competitors.  They should ensure the "fast lane" does not, by design,  effectively harm all other traffic.  This can occur unwillingly using standard IETF IP Networking Protocols.

Therefore,  I believe the "Open Internet + Fast Lane" approach is worth implementing. It ultimately benefits the consumer and it's fair to the service providers.  Yet, and a "BIG YET", the FCC must Trust and Verify.

To comment on this or to discuss this in more detail please contact me at

For additional articles and analysis please visit

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is VoLTE Worth the Investment?

Mobile network operators across the globe are moving to deploying VoLTE (Voice over LTE) systems.  The reasons for this are as expected.  They include:
  1. Better voice quality
  2. Protect voice revenues
  3. Leverage IMS investment
  4. Be able to provide billing services (Leverage their billing system)
  5. Migrate 2G and 3G voice services to LTE

However, given the successes of over-the-top (OTT) services over wired broadband and in current wireless networks is this billion dollar investment prudent?  Consider the following:
  1. OTT has won, or is winning, the battles.  Skype and Netflix are two good examples.  WhatsApp is another case in point of OTT success. 
  2. OTT services are “good enough”.  The majority of the market is unwilling to pay for QoS when a free, or near free, service is sufficient.
  3. When a consumer experiences poor quality for an OTT service they blame the service provider and not the OTT provider.
  4. QoS can only be guarantee when the “call” is completely on-net.  As soon as the voice call leaves the originating SP all bets are off.  Why spend the $ billions only for a subset of calls?
  5. Voice revenue and now SMS Text revenues are crashing.   Why spend $ billions to chase a losing battle?
  6. Service providers are moving away from call-based billing (i.e., CDRs (Call Detail Records)).  Although the NSA loves them.  Unlimited calls and texts are the norm. 
  7. Data limits are prevalent.  A few Youtube videos or one Netflix movie will dwarf a month’s worth of phone calls from a data usage perspective. 
  8. When Google deploys their fiber optic networks (e.g., Kansas City) they do not offer voice services.  The reason is to avoid the mountains of regulations required when offering voice services.    Does that mean people in Kansas City don’t make voice calls?  

It is understandable why a service provider with decades of legacy voice experience would want to consider VoLTE.  After all, they have decades of legacy voice experience.   Similarly, it’s not surprising that service providers that have spent $ billions and years deploying and perfecting IMS want to leverage that investment in time, money and careers.  It’s difficult to face reality that IMS is a “sunk cost” and therefore should not be factored in when evaluating VoLTE investments.

The OTT trends and successes cannot be refuted.  Service providers continue to face the fact that they cannot compete effectively against every segment of OTT services.  The $ billions they would spend on VoLTE would be better spent on: 
  1. Increasing bandwidth per subscriber
  2. Providing industry leading network security to protect their subscribers
  3. Fighting the short sighted Net-Neutrality laws that make regulators “feel good” at the expense of long term viable markets.
  4. Creating an infrastructure where OTT’s want to pay them for QoS in a fair, open and non-discriminatory manner. 

I’ve spent 20 years working on technologies with the goal to ensure service providers do not become a “dumb pipe”1.   I am fully biased toward ensure the success of SPs and believe that “net neutrality” is unfair to them2.  However, SPs should not spend $ billions on VoLTE just because it’s voice.  High speed, high quality broadband is the future.  Don’t fight it.

To discuss this please contact me at


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Friday, April 11, 2014

IoT, Market of Everything....

I'm questioning whether the term "IoT" is more about hype and selling trade shows than a real market opportunity.  As previously noted, there are many real markets and applications that are now put in the "IoT" bucket.

Why do many lead with the "smart refrigerator" as the poster child for IoT?  A smart appliance requires a "smart consumer" which makes it a niche market at best.

What's different now?  Cheap sensors, cheap modems (wired and wireless), cheap broadband connectivity, remote (i.e., cloud) intelligence?

When you put everything in the "IoT bucket" of course it's going to be a multi-trillion dollar market.  It's analogous to tire manufactures including the price of vehicles in their market size calculation.

   To discuss these issues please contact me at

   For a list of previous articles please see

Friday, February 21, 2014

Network PVR a Win for SPs and Consumers

Moving the "storage" function out of the Set-top box and in to the network is a win for both the service provider and for the consumer.  This article, written in ADD solving terseness,  will give the read an overview of the salient points of the benefits of deploying a network-based DVR or N-PVR.  Comments/corrections/suggestions are always welcomed.

What is N PVR?
1.       Network Personal Video Recorder (a.k.a. Network DVR)
2.       A DVR in the Cloud
3.       A user’s programming or content is stored on a server located within a service providers facility instead of stored on a hard disk drive embedded in a set-top box.

Benefits for Service Provider and Consumer
  1. Enables SPs to remove costly storage in every STB.
    1. One less device to fail.
    2. Reduces cost per STB,  less stranded capital
    3.  Reduces power consumption of STBs
      1.   Helps achieve goals set in voluntary agreement (see:
  2. Makes whole home DVR simpler
    1.  All traffic originates from the network to any device (TV, PC, Tablet, Smart phone et al.)
    2. Transparent to user
    3.  Simplifies home networking, re-use existing networks such as WiFi,  No need for a new technology.
  3. Enables TV-Everywhere or video everywhere and advanced video services
    1. A single seamless video experience across all devices/screens.
    2. Pause on one screen; resume on another screen is simplified.
    3. Watch “save” programming on any device at any location.
  4. Enables location-based targeted advertising
    1.  Ads can be “re-inserted” to location user is actually watching stored content.
    2. No need to play Boston Ads if user is watching Red Sox game in San  Francisco.
    3. Enhances advertising packages to ad buyers.
    4. Enhances viewing experience of consumer since ads are more relevant.
    5. Increases ad revenues
  5. Reduces usage and congestion of upstream bandwidth
    1.  Eliminates the need for Sling Box
      1. Sling box clogs limited upstream last mile channels
      2. N-PVR eliminates Sling Box zero revenue traffic
  6. Enables SPs to take advantage of innovations in Content Delivery Systems and advanced caching technologies.
    1. May already be implemented for Video on Demand.
  7. Enables smart phone to become DVR controller
    1.  Guide on smart phone delivered from network
    2.   “record” in network
  8. Leverages investments in cloud infrastructure
    1.  ROI of data centers investment will be enhanced with the addition of N-PVR application. 
    1.  As N-PVR rolls out, cache’s and servers may find themselves in facilities that aren’t as friendly as purpose built data centers.  These may include regional and local facilities such as central offices and head ends.
    2.  Energy issues (e.g., heat) should be addressed.
  10. LEGAL Issue
    1. The Cablevision litigation in the U.S. has been resolved in Cablevision’s favor.
    2. Content providers argued it violated copyright laws.
    3. Cablevision argued it’s the same as a DVR just a different location.
    4. After a number of rulings and subsequent appeals the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case ending the litigation.
    5. Recommendation to SPs…Deploy! 
  11.  Technical Issues
    1.  SP’s will need to have the stored programming in numerous formats applicable to specific devices.  i.e., different resolution and data rates for an HDTV verse a smart phone via 4G/LTE.
    2. Do you translate and transcode on demand or ahead of time? 

   To discuss these issues please contact me at

   For a list of previous articles please see

Monday, February 10, 2014

IoT? Internet of Things....What is a Thing?

Internet of Things, or IoT, is a topical conversation these days.  Companies with vested interest, such as Cisco, have announced this market to be $Billions and $Billions in the not so distant future.  

The word “thing” is a good one here.  You can add “no” and “every” to the front of it and get other proper words.  So IoT can mean “nothing” and “everything”.   That exactly what it means today

A market of nothing and everything is not a real market.  It’s either a ZERO billion dollar market (nothing) or an infinite billion dollar market (Everything).   Zero dollar markets don’t sell market research reports and space at trade shows.  So the industry tends to favor the infinite dollar market.  So we see reports of IoT being a $19 TRILLION market (Cisco), $14 to $33 Trillion (Mckinsey) and a mere $2 Trillion market (Gartner). 

We’ve seen this movie before.  In the 1990’s the market for “Multimedia” was predicted to be many billions and more recently we hear the market for “Cleantech” will be multiple billions.  Yet, like the term IoT, these words meant nothing and everything

When asked what multimedia applications were the answers were always video editing, video conferencing, training and kiosk.   Not sure about “kiosk” but the other three are not multimedia applications they are specific identifiable markets.

Similarly, what are cleantech applications?  Energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart grid are often the answer.  Here again, these are not cleantech applications, they are specific identifiable markets. 

So let’s drop the hype around IoT and start talking about real markets that combine sensors, IP networks and analytics.  I almost said “Big data”, but that’s another “nothing” and “everything” market.

For further discussion please contact me at

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Alcatel Rejuvenates Bell Labs: Network Energy is a Top Focus

After years of corporate and industry uncertainty Alcatel is reigniting their R&D arm, Bell Labs, to tackle the challenges of future.   Alcatel-Lucent CTO Marcus Weldon has identified seven “innovation domains”.  They are:  

  1. Network capacity
  2. Network performance
  3. Network optimization
  4. Network energy
  5. Network security (especially for virtualized applications)
  6. Network applications
  7. Devices (with a focus on how they connect to and interact with the network, rather than the development of end-user devices such as smartphones and tablets)
1.      Network Energy is included
a.     Of all the areas where Alcatel could invest R&D dollars network energy was placed in the top tier.
2.     Alcatel considers network energy a natural area to focus on.
a.     The seven innovation domains were created to focus on the “natural areas” network operators are concerned with.
3.     Alcatel is aware that network energy issues are either top-of-mind or becoming top-of-mind boardroom issues at Service Providers around the globe.
4.     Alcatel has a team of “PhD”s focused on Network Energy
5.     Network Energy is the new name for previously referred to as “Green Research”

For a more complete discussion please see Greywale Communiques at

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Net-Neutrality Overruled! A Win for Everyone!

Why this is good for everyone?

  1. Market Reality
    1. Service Providers are public companies
    2. Broadband is not classified as a "common carrier"
      1. If it was it wouldn't have been deployed
    3. Google, et al, get a free ride and they generate tons of cashs
      1. No one seems to complain about this.
  2. It's not unfair to the small company
    1. No difference than numerous other industries
      1. Not everyone can afford to, or wants to, buy a Superbowl ad.
        1. No outrage here?
    2. This will force small companies and strat-ups to innovate harder
      1. The consumer will benefit more.
        1. FCC is all about protecting the US consumer
  3. Service providers will have the incentive to invest in last mile bandwidth
    1. They will get a fair return on their investment
    2. Consumers will benefit again
      1. So will Google
  4. Consumers will benefit
    1. More bandwidth
    2. Better services
  5. Yet, FCC must TRUST but VERIFY
    1. FCC needs to ensure policies and "tariffs" are fair, equitable and non-discriminatory
Click here for an INDEX of Articles and Post

Monday, January 6, 2014

Set-top Box Energy Efficiency Standard Goes Into Effect

Validates Greywale Service Provider Energy Strategy Business Drivers!
(go to for additional information)
1.       It was a voluntary agreement.
a.     Agreement was made between the US Department of Energy (DOE), Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA)

  2.     It is a “Non-regulatory” standard
   a.     The non-regulatory agreement provides a framework for the DOE and pay-TV industry   to work together on efficient, high-performing set-top boxes that leverage technological improvements.  It achieves what would otherwise be done through regulatory standards.
3.     It sets numerical targets
a.      The target improvement in STB efficiency is 10 to 45 percent, depending on the class of the STB device,  by 2017.
4.     It requires reporting and auditing
a.       The agreement requires the industry publicly report specific set-top box energy use and requires an annual audit of service providers by an independent auditor to ensure boxes are performing at the efficiency levels specified in the agreement.
5.     Originated from non-traditional telecom agencies.
a.     The impetus for this came from the U.S. Department of Energy not the F.C.C.
6.     It has wide industry support
a.        From the U.S. Department of Energy

                                                       i.      “Agreement signatories include pay-TV providers (listed according to number of customers) Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems Corp., Bright House Networks and CenturyLink; and manufacturers Cisco, ARRIS (including Motorola), and EchoStar Technologies. Energy efficiency advocates Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) are also signatories to the agreement.”

(go to for additional information)