The 2020 ISBE Cable-Tec expo was held as a virtual event October 12th-15th. A highlight from the event was the inspiring and visionary video featuring Jana Henthorn, CEO/President The Cable Center interviewing Rouzbeh Yassini, “father of the cable modem”
The tragedy of the COVID global pandemic has shed light, been a testament to the power and necessity of global broadband discussed in this interview.
THE PATH TO INNOVATION
Rouzbeh is living proof that successful innovation starts with, ‘what is the problem’ and then create solutions, which requires a disregard of perceived barriers. He continues to be a compassionate visionary of possibilities.
“Some people measure themselves by creating a company and the number of zeros they put in their bank account…by being a part of the fortune 500..how many mergers and acquisitions. I wanted to measure myself with only 1 simple point, that can we have people connected around the globe.”
Connect people around the globe
Throughout the 90’s Rouzbeh and his team at LanCity worked tirelessly on the successful invention of the first cable modem. The first modem cost $20,000 dollars, took 3 days to install and the brawn to move the 180 pound device. He envisioned the evolution from “plug and pray” to the reality of consumers today holding in one hand a device that is “plug and play”.
The vision continued through collaboration with the telecommunications industry including CableLabs, SCTE and ITU in developing DOCSIS standards to deliver data over cable. Rouzbeh commented, “It wasn’t just the cable modem we built, we actually built an eco system of how you provide a global standard that everyone on the globe can contribute around the globe” The goal was to expand the potential of the current LAN technology that connected buildings to connected cities, states, and countries around the world .
And despite the laughter in the background, nearly ½ of the population of world has connected since 1987. He continued, “By the early 2000’s we came up with 80+ services that broadband services could empower and enable.” Today the list has grown to over 800.
THE FUTURE OF INNOVATION
Affordable global connectivity.
There are critical sensor technologies that prioritize prevention, which are ready to deploy and will impact for our ability to be predict and prepare for environmental factors such as the fires that have devastated areas of Australia and the west coast. There exist technologies that serve in the safety, care, and comfort of our growing and beloved family members in the elderly community.
“I’m really looking for finishing the rest of the dream and have all the people in the world connected.“
In short, Rouzbeh predicts that by 2050 we will have securely interconnected countries that “…operate without daily monitoring of any kind…clean environments and energy efficiency…” all as a function of one concept, “connected broadband”
ROUZBEH LOOKS TO THE NEXT GENERATION TO SOLVE PROBLEMS THROUGH INNOVATION
The YAS foundation, founded by Rouzbeh, supports through scholarships and mentorship the future generation of innovators who have the “…capability to innovate…solve a problem…work with a team of the interdisciplinary people around the world…to focus on solving problems without the limitation of measuring success by “the number of dollars and the corporate size and number of zeros in a bank account” The measure of success is the impact and usefulness to society.
Jana graciously concludes the interview with, “Ladies and gentleman in the audience, that is not a virtual background. You win the prize Rouzbeh for the Best background that I’ve seen, it’s beautiful and impressive as you are.”
To which Rouzbeh responds with his usual humility, “ I really want to thank Cable Center deeply, because you have created a really phenomenal Cable Center where the messages can be distributed as genuine as pure as it is. Credit goes to you and your leadership for providing that opportunity for my colleagues and then new entrepreneurs and perhaps students in their schools who are looking forward to solving the next problem.