CableLabs 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.