Enron Broadband Services (EBS)
In mid-1998 Scott was approached by Stan Hanks, then at Enron Communications Inc. (ECI) out of Portland, Oregon. ECI was a startup under Portland General Electric (PGE). PGE, the electric utility company serving Portland west of the Willamette River, was founded in 1888 as the Willamette Falls Electric Company. Enron bought the utility company on July 1, 1997. In 1998 ECI was launched to expand the company from energy into communications.
While at MFS, Scott had championed a concept he called the Metered Application-layer Service (MAS). The heart of the MAS concept employed distributed servers to move the application server close to the subscriber, so as to efficiently support streaming media applications. WorldCom had acquired MFS and rejected the concept. ECI approached Scott and wanted him to join the new company and develop the concept. There, his ideas became reality as ePowered Media Cast and ePowered Media Transport.
The services debuted at the April 1999 National Assocoation of Broadcaster (NAB) conference where they stunned and impressed the industry audience. This led to an historic 25-year exclusive partnership deal with Blockbuster Home Video to deliver video to the home, announced one year later in April of 2000, and operational by the end of the year, and a major presentation to great acclaim at the January 2001 Enron Analyst's Conferance.
ECI was renamed Enron Broadband Services (EBS) in January 2000. EBS survived the March 2000 "Dot-Bomb" technology stock market crash, only to succumb later as Enron's questionable accounting practices and corporate machinations were exposed.
The very real accomplishments of EBS became forgotten in the chaos that followed, but the ideas and technology developed there continued to mold the Internet, and are with us today in Netflix, Hulu and countless other streaming video services.
Securing the Network: F. Scott Yeager and the Rise of the Commercial Internet
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