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Fall 2001 Heading

The conference includes two general sessions and 24 breakout sessions arranged into four "tracks":

The following are preliminary descriptions and participants for each session.

Last update: September 26, 2001

General Sessions

These sessions cover topics of broad interest to the broadband home community.
  • Voice Over Broadband - Who Will Survive? (General Session 1: M-10/1 5:00 pm)
    Multiple competing paradigms contend for deployment of voice-over-broadband in the home. Most are based on "voice over IP" (VoIP), but the end-to-end solutions look very different. Some are simple pipelines into the cavernous legacy central office switches of yesteryear; some softswitch based but centralized; some softswitch based but decentralized; some are anarchic. Some support primary-line service models; some second-line service models. Some derive revenue from minutes; some from services; some are just free.
    This session explores several paradigms for broadband-enabled telephony in the home. It aims to expose the advantages and disadvantages of each paradigm, both for the end user and the service provider, and will explore the following issues:
      • Which models have staying power and which will disappear or be marginalized?
      • What's the durable economic model for the service?
      • What are the service provider needs and what are those of the end-user? Who is in control? Does your model serve both constituencies?
      • What is the strategy and expectation toward management of end-to-end QoS (adaptive end points with DIFFSERV vs. guaranteed bandwidth and admission control with RSVP)?
    (Revised 7-12-01)
      - Moderator: John Pickens, CTO, Com21
      - Panelist: Martin Taylor, CTO, CopperCom
      - Panelist: Bill Gallagher, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Pagoo
      - Panelist: Jeff Paine, Syndeo

  • Broadband Access Evolution - Today and Tomorrow (General Session 2: Tu-10/2 5:00 pm)
    This session will explore the many different approaches to "broadband access" into the home. These include cable modems, DSL, fixed wireless, two-way satellite, fiber and powerline. Depending upon such variables as the country, the provider and the traffic, some provide speeds only a little better than dial-up modems or ISDN. While the focus in many places has been largely on high-speed PC access to the Internet, telephony and entertainment will be an increasing part of the mix. As new home devices like media servers increase the information flows inside the home from a narrow trickle to one in which the home is full of shared entertainment and other applications requiring lots of bandwidth, what does this mean for the access pipes? Our panel will explore the question of where each broadband access approach fits -- in terms of useful life for both today's and tomorrow's applications and the associated economic consequences. (Created 7-10-01)
      - Moderator: Dave Waks, System Dynamics
      - Panelist: Steve Craddock, VP, Comcast
      - Panelist: Dave Bukovinsky, VP Program Management, WildBlue
      - Chris Setty, Product Manager, World Wide Packets

Overview Track

The sessions in this track are intended for newcomers to the industry, and for those familiar with one or more industry sectors and interested in understanding the key issues in the other sectors.

  • Linking the Value Chain - Making Broadband Succeed (Breakout Session 1: M-10/1 2:00 pm)
    What will it take to make broadband succeed? For broadband providers, it will be a large installed base. For content companies it is about delivering rich media quickly and securely, while reducing production and distribution costs. For retailers, it is about increasing sales through new channels of distribution. Although each sector seems to have a different agenda, they are all part of a complex value chain where each company's success will be dependent on the others. This panel pulls together players from the content, network, retail and software industries to discuss their individual challenges and contributions to the new model. (Created 7-11-01)
  • Home Networking 101 - What I Want This Christmas (Breakout Session 4: M-10/1 3:30 pm)
    Early "no new wires" technologies provided only 1 or 2 MBPS, not even enough for comfortably sharing data and files around the home. This year's technologies seem "over the bar" to meet consumer needs for broadband access sharing, should work satisfactorily for many voice and audio applications and promise some support for video. With so many approaches now in the market, it's hard to keep all their names and competing claims clear. This session provides an overview of 'no new wires' home networking and will cover approaches expected to be in the mass market for this holiday season -- phone-line (HomePNA), power-line (HomePlug), and wireless (HomeRF and 802.11b). (Created 7-11-01)
  • Content Management and Delivery (Breakout Session 8: Tu-10/2 8:15 am)
    Broadband access and home networks provide the bandwidth for streaming audio and video. While technology evolves to deliver digital media content to home audio and TV systems, there are many remaining challenges. These include robust mechanisms for copyright protection, and end-to-end delivery mechanisms to satisfy consumer expectations of quality and performance. This session covers the technical and business issues which need to be resolved to build a mass-market business. (Created 7-11-01)
  • Home Gateways - Market and Customer Experiences (Breakout Session 10: Tu-10/2 9:45 am)
    How do you define a "home gateway"? While people debate various conceptions of what comprises a home gateway, many are already deployed and providing real value today. In this session, vendors of home gateways will discuss their views of home gateway features and evolution and will share what they are learning about real users--who they are, what they want and need, and how much they are willing to pay. (Created 7-11-01)
  • Cable Open Access - How and When? (Breakout Session 13: Tu-10/2 11:15 am)
    Last season's discussion of "cable open access" has been overtaken by the concept of "multiple access" in which customers can choose services from a (finite) number of service providers. A wide range of techical and business challenges need to be addressed to deliver on this promise. MSOs have been trialing mechanisms to solve issues like adding new services, managing traffic flows and quality of service, isolating service providers from one another, billing and managing the customer relationship. This session will provide MSO, ISP and vendor views on how far we have progressed and what challenges remain. (Created 7-11-01)
  • Foundations of the New TV (Breakout Session 16: W-10/3 1:15 pm)
    Users can't experience new TV content and services until the right foundations are laid. This session will look at some of the building blocks which pave the way for video on demand, interactive television and individualized programming. In particular, we'll examine IP-based delivery of next generation television services, the value chain for ITV, the role of middleware and the evolution of the set-top box/gateway. (Created 8-21-01)

Family Applications Track

The sessions in this track cover applications for the home and family.

  • Broadband Voice - New Applications and Devices (Breakout Session 2: M-10/1 2:00 pm)
    Things have really heated up in telephony over broadband, with both the surviving net-based phone companies and new entrants all staking out turf. The broadband service providers are looking for services beyond fast, always-on Internet access and the Net-telephony vendors want a way to keep and grow their user base and make money in the process. As a result, we're seeing a wide variety of new telephony services for those who have broadband access and a new generation of compact, low-cost home devices that allow consumers to make broadband phone calls. This session will focus on these new services and devices to understand their benefits, costs, technology requirements, and future evolution. (Created 7-10-01)
  • Broadband TV - The New Entertainment Platform (Breakout Session 5: M-10/1 3:30 pm)
    Entertainment experiences are most often appreciated in a “lean back” fashion. The TV and stereo are often the mediums of choice for consuming entertainment. But most of the entertainment and information content on the Internet is designed for a "lean forward" experience. How and when will the content community begin to migrate their experiences to a 10 foot interface, running on a TV, fed by broadband and managed with a hand-held remote? This session explores the tools for content publishers, what hardware platforms publishers should count on being deployed, and by when. It also touches on what the user experiences will be like and who does what in the content community--what comes from the linear TV folks and what from the web and game folks. (Created 7-11-01)
  • Home Automation and Control (Breakout Session 12: Tu-10/2 9:45 am)
    "Home of the Future" demonstrations go back to the 1939 World's Fair - and maybe earlier. Many believe that a wide variety of home automation and control applications will be developed as large and small devices (HVAC, major appliances, lights) are networked and linked to broadband alway-on connections to the outside world. More than technology is needed for these applications to get into consumer homes, solve real needs and have compelling business economics. This session explores some of the applications that companies believe will meet the requirements for a sustainable business proposition. (Created 7-10-01)
  • Interactive Games - Not Just Child's Play (Breakout Session 15: Tu-10/2 11:15 am)
    Games have always been a popular PC application, and there is a growing market for multi-player games over dial-up connections. The latest generation of game consoles is designed to exploit broadband, and many believe that broadband will enable exciting new games on multiple platforms including the PC, the TV, and dedicated game consoles. This session will explore the technical platforms and gaming applications in the broadband home. (Created 7-11-01)
  • Sharing Your Audio and Video - Sources, Services and Storage (Breakout Session 19: W-10/3 2:45 pm)
    From residential gateways to home servers, consumers today are not only plugging in but storing, editing and sharing media of all types. It is not enough to be able to email this content to a friend, I want to post to a community, show pictures to grandma on the TV and access my home control station when I am on the road. I'd like to store, index and retrieve media - pictures, audio files and video files - so the whole family can know where they are and access them on any capable device. This session will explore some enabling mechanisms for receiving, sharing and managing this digital deluge (Revised 8-22-01)
  • Webpads and Web Tablets - Coming soon to your kitchen? (Breakout Session 24: W-10/3 4:15 pm)
    While many believe that simple specialized "Internet appliances" will provide the next spurt of growth in the home market, early entries in this category have fizzled like shooting stars. Wireless portable touchscreen devices - known as "Webpads" or "Web tablets" - have been demonstrated for several years and are now starting to reach the market. Many believe that these devices are destined to supplement the PC for home control, family communications, and A/V interaction. This session will explore the current state of these devices, including their features and their potential for mass-market penetration. (Created 7-11-01)

Technology Track

The sessions in this track cover new developments in broadband infrastructure and enabling technologies.

  • Hot New Technologies and Standards (Breakout Session 3: M-10/1 2:00 pm)
    New technologies and standards are emerging to take advantage of broadband's availability and to facilitate its delivery. This session will explore some new developments, including technologies that enable multimedia home networking, end-to-end IP-based telephony; IP-based television; whole-home audio/video distribution; and external access to in-home devices for telemetry and control. (Created 7-10-01)
  • Security and Privacy - Guarding Your Hard Drive and Your Wallet (Breakout Session 6: M-10/1 3:30 pm)
    Broadband access and home networks will provide broadband services for all members of the family and will include applications on both the PC as well as other devices. But the "always-on" nature of the broadband connection exposes the home to new threats from electronic intruders, especially as broadband applications are extended throughout the house and through the Internet. If I can remotely unlock the door to my house to let a repairman in, how do I prevent a clever burglar from opening the door for himself? Part of broadband's promise also includes allowing transactions -- which involves spending the users' money. If I can easily and quickly pay for things I purchase, how do I insure that someone else can't reach into my virtual wallet? This session addresses key issues and current work underway to protect and defend users. (Created 7-10-01)
  • Provisioning and Managing Services (Breakout Session 9: Tu-10/2 8:15 am)
    Although sexy-sounding applications often garner the limelight, nuts and bolts topics like service provisioning and management are vital to customer satisfaction, profitability, and the viability of broadband services. The broadband industry has made progress in creating and deploying tools to make these processes more automated and cost effective. This session will explore how these tools are being used today and additional challenges that remain. (Created 7-10-01)
  • Home Networking - Technical Needs for the Home (Breakout Session 18: W-10/3 1:15 pm)
    Service providers have a truly difficult task in extending their services into and around the home. On the one hand, they could select and certify specific home networks and devices and then provide them to the customer or require their installation; on the other, they could try to make their services work to match the many permutations and combinations of equipment on the market or already installed by the user. This session will explore the technical challenges inherent in creating workable solutions to such issues as being able to guarantee service quality for IP telephony or streaming media over home networks and visibility into the home to assist in diagnosing and responding to problems. (Created 7-11-01)
  • Future Proofing New Homes and Communities (Breakout Session 21: W-10/3 2:45 pm)
    When planning new homes and communities - both multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and single-family - builders are uncertain of the best approaches for broadband services. What should go in the streets? What should be pulled through the walls? Are coaxial cable and twisted pair copper still appropriate, or is it time for fiber? Or a mixture of fiber and copper? Should telephone and TV services be carried in analog form, or is it time for all-digital? How about all-IP? This session will explore some of these issues from the point of view of service providers, home builders and vendors. (Created 7-12-01)
  • Whole Home Distribution Solutions - Beyond The Web (Breakout Session 22: W-10/3 4:15 pm)
    The current generation of home networking is generally capable of 10-11 MBPS, enough to do well for many of today's data-centric applications. As we look forward to sharing multiple video streams and possibly HDTV around the home, a higher threshold is required both for bandwidth and for carrying time-sensitive (isochronous) traffic. This session will examine the quesstions of how much bandwidth will be required and by when to accomodate all the needs in the home, how much it will cost, when it will be available and what approach(es) will "win". (Created 7-11-01)

Business Perspectives Track

The sessions in this track cover business development and financial issues.

  • Money and More - Consumer's money, time and attention budgets (Breakout Session 7: Tu-10/2 8:15 am)
    Sophisticated marketers know that identifying a target market involves more than looking at consumer demographics and income. It is vitally important to consider all of the "resources" that affect a buying decision, including money, time, interest, and power. This panel will examine these resources and discuss how they can be combined to create target market segments that result in more effective and efficient marketing. (Created 7-10-01)
  • Servicing the Broadband Home - "Concierge," "Plumber" or "Friend"? (Breakout Session 11: Tu-10/2 9:45 am)
    The array of technologies to provide an in-home broadband infrastructure --various types of home networking, broadband modems, home gateways, and new broadband appliances -- keeps growing. Selecting from these alternatives, plus the ways to connect to different types of broadand access and connecting it all together, can be a daunting task. Many companies large and small are developing plans to provide the necessary technical expertise, based on a variety of business models. Will broadband access providers (cable operator or telco) or full-service ISPs add these services? Is there a business opportunity for independent entrepreneurs acting as "IP plumbers?" Will apartment complexes provide tenants the option of an "electronic concierge"? Will retailers try to take over this role from the computer and network savvy "best friend" many now call on for help? This session will explore various models for installation and support of the in-home broadband infrastructure. (Created 8-1-01)
  • Home Gateways - Expanding Service Provider's Reach (Breakout Session 14: Tu-10/2 11:15 am)
    Traditionally, broadband transport providers have had a clear demarcation point at or in the home and no interest in anything on the other side of that point. As transport (and eventually residential broadband transport) becomes commoditized, providers have recognized a need to differentiate themselves thru additional services. With a large percentage of their most enthusiastic customers having multiple PCs and increasing needs for security and other services, transport providers are teaming with gateway manufacturers to enable them to offer more services to their customers. We will hear from several service providers (ILEC, ISP and MSO) regarding the business model(s) they believe will be economically viable, the market segments they are addressing and the new services they are or will be ofering as a result. (Created 7-12-01)
  • Investors' View - Is there still money for broadband? (Breakout Session 17: W-10/3 1:15 pm)
    We're all painfully aware of the negative news about the downturn in the technology sector. What does this mean for new broadband-oriented ventures and business plans which are trying to get funding? Members of the investment community who have focused resources on residential broadband will share their perspectives on what sectors of the broadband home they are still investing in and what characteristics they look for when investing in such companies. (Created 7-10-01)
  • Business Models for New Services (Breakout Session 20: W-10/3 2:45 pm)
    How are realistic business models for new residential broadband services created? This session will assemble experts in delivering broadband services and products, projecting against their real world experiences, to examine the elements of their business models. Topics will include how the financial model is created, how the assumptions for it are derived, how the user experience will be measured and how consumer willingness to pay and take rates are estimated. The format will be speaker presentations followed by Q&A. (Revised 9-25-01)
  • Focus on Fiber To The Home -- Where Does It Make Sense? (Breakout Session 23: W-10/3 4:15 pm)
    While the standard model for "broadband" in North America is either cable modems or DSL, fiber to the home (FTTH) is being deployed faster in other countries - most notably in Sweden and Italy. Has the time come for FTTH in North America? Does it make economic sense only for high-density areas or will it work in the suburbs? Is it appropriate now for new communities and for "overbuilders"? Should telephone companies and cable operators start to question whether their newly-built traditional twisted pair telephone plant and hybrid fiber-coax cable systems will pay off their investments - and consider deploying FTTH now? Has the time come for an all-digital, all-IP fiber implementation, or should fiber be engineered to carry traditional telephony and analog television as well? This session will explore these issues from the perspective of vendors and service providers. (Created 7-12-01)


©2001 System Dynamics Inc. All Rights Reserved.