Homes set for Multi-Gigabit cable broadband

A successful first interoperability test for new cable DOCSIS 3.1 equipment means that the industry is on schedule to deliver multi-Gbps connections to the home.

CableLabs – the non-profit research and development consortium for the cable industry – has confirmed that six technology companies have completed the first successful interoperability test of DOCSIS 3.1 products for a new generation of high-speed hardware that can deliver up to 10 Gbps broadband speeds on Hybrid Fiber-Coax (HFC) networks.

“The remarkable speed at which DOCSIS 3.1 has gone from concept, to specification, to interoperability testing demonstrates the great value of collaboration by industry stakeholders,” said Phil McKinney, president and chief executive officer of CableLabs. “This is a great step forward toward future deployment.”

The first DOCSIS 3.1 interoperability event included providers of early implementations of cable modems, CCAPs, and test and measurement equipment focused on the physical layer connectivity. The event tested product interoperability, and successfully demonstrated both higher efficiency and wider channels, which combine to make multi-Gbps speeds possible.

“The success of this first DOCSIS 3.1 interop validates that multi-Gigabit services will soon be a reality for cable broadband customers,” said Tom Lookabaugh, chief research and development officer at CableLabs. “Operators around the world can now look forward to a new generation of capabilities added to their DOCSIS-based networks.

Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.1 is the suite of technical specifications developed by CableLabs and used to describe the technology, products and services driven by the new technology. The specifications, which were introduced in Oct. 2013, provide significant new value for cable operators and consumers of broadband services, including:

  • Speed: Defines support for up to 10 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream network capabilities.

  • Quality of Experience: Utilises Active Queue Management to significantly reduce network delay as data traffic grows in the home network, dramatically improving responsiveness for applications such as online gaming.

  • Higher Capacity: Enables a significant increase in network capacity with the ability to transmit up to 50 per cent more data over the same spectrum on existing HFC networks.

  • Energy Efficiency: Enhancements to the DOCSIS protocols will increase cable modem energy efficiency.

  • Flexible Migration Strategy: DOCSIS 3.1 modems are designed to co-exist with older versions, enabling incremental deployment based on market demand.

To keep up with the rate of development and accelerate product maturity, CableLabs will be facilitating a series of interop events building up to the certification program that will be open for submissions in 2015. The next interop is scheduled for January 19–23, at CableLabs in Louisville, Colorado.

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