Vendors: How to Engage
How to Engage with CableLabs
There are multiple ways for our Technology Vendor community to engage with CableLabs, and our various activities. We encourage all Technology Vendors to get involved with CableLabs activities to help create a great cable user experience!
Review Draft Specifications, access to non-public information: “NDA Access”
In addition to accessing CableLabs Specifications that are publicly posted at cablelabs.com, Technology Vendors can access non-public documents, including Draft Specifications, technical papers and documentation, software code, notices, and announcements by signing the appropriate Confidential Information Access Agreement (also referred to as an NDA). Access to Draft Specifications provides Vendors with a “heads-up” on the direction of technology for the cable industry. Vendors can also file comments on the Draft Specifications prior to issuance. Draft Specifications are generally sent out to a wide audience of Technology Vendors, and other interested parties, 30 to 60 days prior to public issuance. The Information Access Agreement also covers this short period of confidentiality before the Specification is made public. Execution of the Confidential Information Access Agreement also provides access to CableLabs InfoZone, a CableLabs document repository system for non-public information. To participate at the NDA level, please fill out the Confidential Information Access Agreement – NDA for the areas you are interested in.
Specification Drafting / Working Groups
CableLabs does not draft specifications or test suites on its own. Rather, input and active participation from the Technology Vendor community is essential to drafting Specifications that meet the needs of Cable Operators, Technology Vendors, and ultimately, our mutual customers. After all, the Technology Vendors implement the CableLabs Specifications in their respective devices. We invite any Technology Vendor with interest and expertise to join our Working Groups as they are formed around various Specification drafting efforts. Working Groups may also draft Test Plans associated with our Specifications. The Working Groups are generally announced via our email reflectors. (To be placed on our email reflector list, see Confidential Information Access Agreement above.) In order to facilitate widespread implementation of CableLabs Specifications, and reduce overall costs for Vendors, Cable Operators, and consumers, CableLabs has established Contribution Agreements (also referred to as IPR Agreements) for each family of CableLabs Specifications—DOCSIS (data), PacketCable (voice), and OpenCable (video). DPoE, EPOC, Metadata, and other projects also have similar Contribution Agreements. The Contribution Agreements provide Technology Vendors with either a royalty-free grant of necessary intellectual property, or a reasonable and non-discriminatory obligation to license necessary intellectual property, from all other Contributors, as the case may be per agreement. Likewise, to participate in the Working Group, a Vendor must make reciprocal commitments to all other Contributors by signing the Contribution Agreement. To participate in Specification and Test Plan drafting, or otherwise join a CableLabs Working Group, please click here.
*For open source projects CableLabs has a modified and abbreviated agreement: CableLabs Open Source Contributor Agreement.
CableLabs Visiting Engineer and Contributing Engineer Programs
To gain further insight and understanding of CableLabs activities, we invite Technology Vendors to participate on-site at CableLabs as a Visiting Engineer. Visiting Engineers are allocated workspace and network access at CableLabs, and agree to work a minimum number of hours per week on CableLabs activities (typically at least half time). Visiting Engineers typically work on Draft Specifications and/or associated Test Plans. By participating hands-on at CableLabs in the Specification Drafting and/or Test Suite development effort, a Vendor is well positioned to rapidly introduce compliant products to the marketplace. Visiting Engineer engagements are typically at least 6 months. The Contributing Engineer program is similar to the Visiting Engineer program, but the engineer is not on-site at CableLabs. Minimum hours and a minimum engagement period are required. Participate in the CableLabs Visiting/Contributing Engineer Program by filling out the Inquiry form.
Separately, CableLabs and the cable Technology Suppliers may not bring about revolutionary change to the cable industry. However, working with a specific Technology Supplier on a well-defined Co-Innovation project, CableLabs and the Technology Supplier may be able to capitalize on our respective strengths, while filling in our technology expertise gaps. Combined, we can accomplish what we cannot separately. This is Co-Innovation. Co-Innovation projects are typically targeted at bringing the resulting technology to market 3 to 5 years. CableLabs has identified Technology Themes in order to further focus our efforts on technology areas we believe are ripe for revolutionary change and are impactful for the cable industry. The Themes may change over time. We are interested in partnering with Technology Suppliers that have exceptional expertise in one or more Theme areas in order to tackle a specific problem facing the cable industry. We are open to a variety of arrangements to address confidentiality, IPR, ownership, and marketplace introduction. To further explore a Co-Innovation project with CableLabs, please contact us at: Co-innovation@CableLabs.com