Dallas — Three top technical minds in the cable industry took home the crystal Wednesday, as the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers staged its annual awards luncheon during the Conference on Emerging Technologies.
Cox Communications Inc. ‘s Brad Bignall brought home the Polaris Award. The data and transport engineering manager for Cox’s Wichita, Kan. system earned the honor for his work converting the system from an existing IP provider to the MSO’s own high-speed Internet service.
“I feel very honored to be among a group of distinguished professionals,” Bignall said Award sponsor CommScope also gave a nod to Bignall’s work supporting the state of Kansas’ educational system, announcing it will donate $5,000 to the educational organization of his choice.
Harry Reichert was named the Star of Integrity Award winner for his contributions to the industry. Reichert, a Comcast Corp. vice president of digital video engineering, was instrumental in guiding the MSO’s deployment of digital video, video-on-demand and high-definition video products.
He led the effort to light the first fiber-optic cable network in 1989, and more recently, he has been active in the Plug & Play agreement between the cable and consumer electronics industries.
“I am certainly proud to receive this award today,” Reichert said. In addition to thanking the sponsors and those who nominated him, he also gave a nod to “all of the professionals I have worked with in the industry that allowed me to contribute.”
The first-ever IP Innovator Award winner was Joe Godas, director of network systems integration, corporate engineering and new technology at Cablevision Systems Corp.
Godas was recognized for his leadership in designing, implementing and promoting a Data Over Cable Services Interface Specification (DOCSIS) out-of band signaling channel for digital set-top boxes.
Godas noted the work to create the IP signaling system for set-tops was part of a digital set-top initiative the MSO began several years ago. He thanked his fellow engineers at Cablevision, noting that “without having people to argue with and acid test ideas, the ideas seldom go beyond thought.”
C-COR.net Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., CommScope Inc. and industry publications CED, Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News sponsored the annual awards.
Each award winner received a crystal trophy and a $10,000 donation to SCTE in their honor to further professional development.