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The Race to DOCSIS 3.0

cablelabs-logo.gifCableLabs has introduced an interesting new certification process for DOCSIS 3.0 qualification. In light of recent public debate on how the US needs to encourage higher bandwidth delivery, the CableLabs move is hopefully a way to get the cable industry moving in the right direction a little faster.

First a quickie explanation: DOCSIS 3.0 is a specification that incorporates something called channel-bonding technology to increase upstream and downstream cable bandwidth. The spec describes downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher and upstream data rates of 120 Mbps or higher. (Makes current rates look paltry in comparison)

CableLabs has decided to proceed normally in certifying DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems, but offer a tiered system for qualification of the more complicated cable modem termination systems (CMTS). (For non-cablelites, all you need to know is that a CMTS makes cable broadband delivery possible) Why the tiered system? CableLabs wants to make it as easy as possible to get vendors certified, even if it means certification happens in stages.

From the CableLabs press release:

“We expect fully compliant DOCSIS 3.0 modem submissions to arrive at our labs along with a range of CMTS submissions in the fourth quarter of this year,” said Ralph Brown, Chief Technology Officer at CableLabs.

5 Responses

  1. You know, everything old is new again. ‘Channel-bonding’ sounds very much like ‘ISDN Bonding’ which allowed you to pool multiple ISDN B-channels for higher data rates. That was eventually displaced by The PPP Multilink Protocol (http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1990.txt) which allows you to pool PPP connections over any medium – ISDN, modems, PPPoE, etc.

  2. [...] the on-screen readout from RF Sentry on the right. Yes, operators should continue to find ways to increase bandwidth capacity, but there are also ways to make the most of the bandwidth they already [...]

  3. [...] when there’s enough bandwidth to go around. That’s essentially true, but in the meantime, while bandwidth supply is not infinite, it’s not a bad idea to look at how the limited resources are dolled [...]

  4. [...] the FTTN route to offer TV. Cable operators are using technology like switched digital video and channel bonding to increase capacity for new services (like Time Warner’s Start Over or Motorola’s [...]

  5. [...] Bonding – Part of the DOCSIS 3.0 spec, the technique bonds channels together to deliver more capacity to a home [...]

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