CableLabs® Certifies Three More Plug-and-Play Cable Modems
5 More Firms Certified, 6 Re-Certified
Louisville, Colorado, May 18, 2000—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has certified three more plug-and-play cable modems for retail sale in its latest wave of modem certification. In total, five companies received certification for the first time, six others received re-certification for new and upgraded products, and two new sets of headend gear were qualified.
The latest plug-and-play modems to be certified are manufactured by 3Com, Askey International, and Toshiba, and come with a universal serial bus (USB) connector. USB connectivity is being built into the majority of computers that are being shipped today; USB connectivity in a modem allows consumers to plug an always-connected cable modem into their computer�s USB connection without requiring a separate Ethernet card to be installed into their computer. In the last certification wave, announced in March, USB modems from Arris, Motorola and Thomson Consumer Electronics were certified.
In addition, more testing is being conducted on some products and additional announcements on certification could occur in the next few weeks.
Those five companies receiving certification status for the first time are Joohong, Nortel Asia, Sohoware, Future Networks, and Alcatel. The six companies receiving re-certification are 3Com, Askey, Best Data, Cisco Systems, Motorola, and Toshiba.
The newly qualified cable modem termination system (CMTS) products are from 3Com and Broadband Access Systems (BAS). There now are five companies whose CMTS have been qualified; Arris Interactive (Nortel), Cisco Systems and Motorola had previously received qualified status.
There are a total of nearly two dozen companies from around the world whose cable modems have received CableLabs certification. Some of those companies have had multiple models certified, bringing the number of models of certified products to more than 35. A complete list of companies and their certified models is available on the public area of the www.cablemodem.com web site.
"In the past few waves, our program has certified four USB modems, an in-home networking modem, and qualified more headend equipment," said Bill Kostka, director of the cable modem project. "This continues to demonstrate the ability of the vendor community to provide innovative new products based on the DOCSIS standards," Kostka added.
Certified modems are identifiable by a "CableLabs® Certified™" seal. This seal informs consumers and cable operators that a modem complies with the CableLabs� cable modem specification. It also assures that it will communicate (interoperate) with qualified CMTS, which are being deployed worldwide.
There are numerous different regional deployments by cable operators on their broadband networks using cable modem products from the more than one dozen companies producing CableLabs® Certified™ cable modems. The cable industry has created a complete retail certification standard in its data modem program from a standing start four years ago.
A Certification Review Committee, comprised of representatives of CableLabs member companies, grants certification status to DOCSIS-compliant modems, and qualified status to headend equipment, based on lab tests completed by CableLabs as well as on field data. Certification to this point has focused solely on DOCSIS 1.0 products. It is hoped that certification of DOCSIS 1.1 modems, which enable multimedia services including voice communications, will begin in August.
Cable modems are used to provide high-speed Internet and data access over cable�s broadband networks. 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. 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 are tested against CableLabs-qualified headend equipment supplied by different manufacturers.
As part of the certification test process, suppliers are 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. Additionally, suppliers complete self-testing of 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 CableLabs-defined interface specifications. The existing DOCSIS cable modem architecture is enriched with high-speed data capability of up to 38 million bits per second throughput per standard cable channel, with the flexibility of enabling 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.
The effort has achieved widespread 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 web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org, and www.opencable.com.
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.