CableLabs® Certifies Two Internal Cable Modem Cards Further Expanding Ease of Connectivity
More Than 70 Models Now Certified
Louisville, Colorado, July 20, 2000—Cable modems now may be installed directly into computers by PC makers, a major breakthrough in provisioning that results from Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) certifying internal cable modem cards [PCI] made by GVC and Zoom. This will allow consumers to purchase their PCs with built-in always-on, high-speed cable modems.
"This is a real milestone for consumers who want their cable modems pre-configured inside their PCs and ready to use right out of the box," said Brian L. Roberts, chairman of the CableLabs Board of Directors and president of Comcast Corporation. "With this advance, the cable industry and its computer industry suppliers can offer greater ease of use and lower price points to consumers who want to enjoy an unsurpassed high-speed Internet service. This should further increase the momentum of the cable Internet business."
"The PCI milestone tracks with our business-to-business (B2B) effort, called �Go2Broadband� or G2B, that links retailers, PC manufacturers and cable operators to a one-stop shop for information about where cable modem service is available," said CableLabs President and CEO, Dr. Richard R. Green.
In addition to the PCI (peripheral component interface) certification, which is anticipated to cut the costs of cable modems, the latest wave of CableLabs modem certification saw 11 other modem devices gain CableLabs® Certified™ status, including five more easy-to-install modems with a universal serial bus (USB) connection. The USB connection 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. The latest USB modems to be certified came from Ambit, Com21, and two from Ericsson and Terayon.
Five companies received certification for the first time in the wave which ended this month. They are Ambit, D-Link Co., Ltd., Ericsson, PowerCom, and Zoom. Five other companies, whose products were previously certified, received re-certification for new and upgraded products. They are Com21, DX Antenna, GVC, Samsung, and Terayon.
There are now more than 30 firms world-wide whose cable modems have received CableLabs certification. Some of those companies have multiple models certified, bringing the number of models of products certified to 70. A complete list of companies and their certified models is available on the public area of the www.cablemodem.com web site.
In addition, two cable modem termination system (CMTS) products were re-qualified as DOCSIS 1.0 compliant. These companies are Arris Interactive and Cisco Systems. There are three other companies whose CMTSs have been qualified in prior waves: 3Com, Broadband Access Systems (BAS), and Motorola.
"In the previous waves, our program has certified 10Base-T modems, USB modems, an in-home networking modem and now a PC internal card cable modem," said Bill Kostka, head of the cable modem effort. "This continues to demonstrate the ability of the vendor community to provide innovative new products based on the DOCSIS standards and rapid time-to-market to assure the cable industry maintains its competitive edge over competing technologies," 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�s 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 thirty 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 developed by cable operators. Certification to this point has focused solely on DOCSIS 1.0 product.
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.