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The NCTC, Massillon Cable, and Indie Cablecos

NCTC the Independent ShowThe National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) is hosting The Independent Show now through the 29th, and smaller cable operators, vendors, and even programmers are converging on Grapevine Texas for the confab. Motorola is there too, showing off solutions for independent cablecos and discussing everything from the current regulatory environment to strategies for dealing with cable competitors old and new.

While Motorola is highlighting a wide range of technologies at the event – including the recently updated HITS Quick Touch Plus platform – there’s one piece of news that was timed for the show that I find particularly interesting. Massillon Cable out of Ohio has just signed on to implement Motorola’s integrated CMTS (I-CMTS) solution. On the surface that doesn’t sound like much, but it comes after serious consideration on Massillon’s part over whether to go with I-CMTS or a competing modular CMTS (M-CMTS) solution in order to implement DOCSIS 3.0. Massillon, like many of its larger counterparts, decided on I-CMTS. Not only is an integrated system simpler and more cost-effective, but the Motorola solution proves that a modular system is not necessary today to increase both overall throughput and peak throughput via channel bonding. Motorola’s I-CMTS solution includes the BSR 64000 CMTS and the TX32 decoupled downstream module. The TX32 increases overall downstream capacity by up to 500% in an existing CMTS chassis, and decreases costs by up to 60% per downstream channel.

Although the CMTS debate is fairly technical, it’s increasingly relevant as operators, large and small, face mounting bandwidth demand. Some day cable operators will likely bypass the CMTS altogether for delivery of high-speed broadband services. That day is a ways off, however. In the meantime, an I-CMTS solution is the best way to get to DOCSIS 3.0.