Cable RF Specification for High-Speed Data Finalized
New Orleans, Louisiana, March 16, 1997—The Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification working group has finalized the Radio Frequency (RF) specification and is distributing the specification to the public this week. Finalizing the RF specification enables suppliers to confidently begin building interoperable, high-speed cable modems.
The working group is comprised of representatives from Comcast, Continental Cablevision, Cox Communications, Rogers Cablesystems Limited, Time Warner Cable, Tele-Communications Inc. and CableLabs.
CableLabs is issuing a request for proposal for immediate fabrication and delivery of a limited number of prototype modems for the purpose of evaluating interoperability and compliance with the specification. "With the specification now finalized, CableLabs is taking a leadership role in this next equipment implementation phase of the project," said Dr. Richard R. Green, president and CEO of CableLabs.
The deadline for suppliers to notify CableLabs of their intent to bid is April 7 and deadline for final responses is May 9. The RFP contact at CableLabs is Bob Cruickshank, director of digital network technologies.
The following manufacturers have expressed interest in building modems that comply with these specifications: 3Com, Bay Networks' Data over Cable Division (formerly LANcity), Cisco Systems, Com21, General Instrument Corp., Hewlett-Packard, Hybrid Networks, Intel, Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, Scientific-Atlanta, Sharp Electronics, Terayon Corp., Toshiba, U.S. Robotics, and Zenith.
In addition the following chip manufacturers are making chip sets that comply with the specification: Broadcom, ComStream Corp., Stanford Telecom, Ultracom Communications, Inc., and VLSI Technology, Inc.
All of CableLabs member companies have expressed strong support for the modem specification process and the purchase of specification-compliant modems.
Among the executives commenting were the following: Continental Cablevision Senior Vice President Engineering and Technology David Fellows: "Continental Cablevision's commitment to purchase modems under the cable data specification process continues unabated and we look forward to purchasing hundreds of thousands of these spec-compliant devices."
Edward S. Rogers, president and CEO of Rogers Communications Inc.: "Rogers Cablesystems Limited continues to strongly support the development of the cable modem specification process. Rogers is aggressively rolling out its high-speed cable modem service and really needs suppliers to develop products to this specification as soon as possible."
Brian Roberts, president of Comcast Corp.: "We want to make large volume purchases of the modems that comply with this specification when they are ready. This cable data business opportunity is real and we want to enter it quickly and aggressively."
Alex Best, senior vice president of engineering with Cox Communications: "Cox eagerly awaits modems built to this specification and we want to continue a rapid deployment of this high-speed cable data service. We�d like to move to this modem technology when these modems become available."
Bruce Ravenel, president and CEO of TCI.NET, Inc.: "TCI's @Home by TCI.NET service is proving to be a winner with customers. When modems that comply with this specification are available, we believe that adoption of high-speed cable modem services will accelerate and that consumers will be the beneficiary."
The specification incorporates comments and suggested enhancements that were provided by the vendor community since the specification was released to suppliers at the Western Show in December.
The interface specification calls for delivering data down the cable at typical rates of 27 to 38 million bits per second (Mbps), and upstream at rates of 320 kilobits per second to 10 Mbps.
A copy of the technology pool license agreement will be made available through the website. By accessing the pool, vendors will be able to gain royalty free access to intellectual property required to build interoperable cable modems that comply with the RF specification.
Coincident with CableLabs moving to the implementation phase of the Data Over Cable project, there will be a new e-mail contact for the process; all e-mail should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Documents associated with the effort may be found at http://www.cablemodem.com.
CableLabs is a research and development consortium of cable television system operators representing more than 85% of the cable subscribers in the United States, 75% of the subscribers in Canada, and 12% of cable subscribers in Mexico. CableLabs plans and funds research and development projects that will help cable companies take advantage of future opportunities and meet future challenges in the television industry. It also transfers relevant technologies to member companies and to the industry. In addition, CableLabs acts as a clearinghouse to provide information on current and prospective technological developments that are of interest to the cable industry.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains additional web sites at www.cablenet.org and www.ebif.tv.
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