HFC still has runway for residential cable services, but commercial services are a different animal. One of the discussions taking place at the Motorola booth is around using EPON for cable business offerings. An all-fiber option is compelling for the enterprise, particularly when you consider data backup needs and the upstream capacity that requires. And for cable providers, the investment is a lot easier to swallow when there’s new revenue to be made. There is a challenge, however. The cable industry operates in a DOCSIS environment, and would like to continue doing so for a long while. Enter DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON, or DPoE.
Earlier this week Jeff Baumgartner wrote about plans by CableLabs to release specs for DPoE. The idea is to provision everything over one platform, and Motorola is rolling the technology into its Unified Business Services. Operators get EPON, but stay in a DOCSIS world. Not a bad combination.