CableLabs® Certifies General Instrument and Arris Interactive Cable Modems
Louisville, Colorado, May 6, 1999—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc., (CableLabs®) today announced that it has certified for retail sale cable modems from General Instrument (GI) and Arris Interactive.
This announcement means that five suppliers' products now are supported for retail sale. The other certified suppliers are 3Com, Toshiba, and Thomson Consumer Electronics. Additionally, CableLabs has qualified headend equipment needed for interoperable high-speed data distribution from Cisco Systems.
The GI and Arris announcement results from additional testing necessary to isolate the source of nonconformance with the cable modem specification which otherwise would have resulted in these suppliers' products not being certified. In the cases of GI and Arris, this conformance issue was the only reason for their failing certification, according to Rouzbeh Yassini, executive consultant to CableLabs and leader of the CableLabs® Certified™ cable modem program.
The Certification Committee authorized additional time to conduct testing to isolate the nonconformance. Once the issue was identified, and it was determined that the modems were not the source of the nonconformance, the Committee authorized certification. The next certification wave will start on May 12 as previously scheduled, and is the third such wave scheduled for this year. It is anticipated that as many as a dozen vendors will apply for certification in this wave.
"Testing and evaluation to determine certification is a very complex and sophisticated process," said Dr. Richard R. Green, president and CEO of CableLabs. "Finding these kinds of glitches and remedying them is an important part of this certification process," Green added. "We want to make sure that our members and retail customers have as many certified modems to choose from as possible without compromising the cable modem specification conformance. At the same time, we have to make sure our data are unquestionable," he added.
The retail certified modems are identifiable by a CableLabs® Certified™ seal. This seal will inform consumers and cable operators that a modem complies with the CableLabs' cable modem specification. It also states that it will interoperate with qualified cable system headends, which soon will be deployed in a substantial number of systems worldwide.
Cable modems are used to provide high-speed Internet and data access. Cable modems are always connected and, unlike telephone industry modems, do not require re-dialing to a service provider. In addition, because the connection is via two-way cable, consumers do not tie up their telephone line for Internet surfing when using a cable modem to access the Internet. The certified cable modems can coexist in cable systems with existing, proprietary cable modems.
Manufacturers who receive CableLabs certification for their high-speed cable modems have successfully completed an extensive series of interoperability tests supported by CableLabs' membership. Modems were tested against headend equipment supplied by four different manufacturers.
As part of the certification test process, suppliers were asked to work in CableLabs facilities in pre-market, pre-competitive testing and evaluation in order to prove their compliance with the industry-supported program and technology. As part of the certification process, suppliers self-test their products at their own facilities prior to submission to CableLabs.
CableLabs certification focuses on how well suppliers' cable modem and headend equipment adhere to the defined interface specifications. The existing DOCSIS cable modem architecture is flexible enough to enable each broadband service provider to customize multiple service tiers. In addition to the unprecedented speed, cable modems also offer ease of installation, robust reliability, and data encryption of all information conveyed by the certified modems.
CableLabs has managed the interoperable cable modem process, previously known as Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) for the past three years. In that time, the effort has achieved cable and vendor consensus on a series of definitions of key interconnection points in a cable data distribution network. It also has achieved North American (by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers) and international (by the International Telecommunications Union) standardization using key elements of DOCSIS.
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.
CableLabs® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. Other CableLabs marks are listed at http://www.cablelabs.com/certqual/trademarks. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.