CableLabs® Issues DOCSIS® 3.0 Specifications Enabling 160 Mbps
Louisville, Colorado, August 7, 2006 - CableLabs® has issued a series of specifications that enable cable operators to offer significantly higher data rates to their broadband customers. The new specifications describe downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher and upstream data rates of 120 Mbps or higher. The specifications, called Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS®) 3.0, are available at www.cablemodem.com/specifications.
To achieve these higher data rates DOCSIS 3.0 describes a methodology for channel bonding in both the upstream and downstream directions. DOCSIS 3.0 also incorporates support for the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). IPv6 is the next generation of the Internet Protocol and greatly expands the number of Internet addresses that cable operators may use, allowing them to provide consumers with more IP-based services.
“This set of specifications will lead to cable modem products that greatly strengthen cable's package of offerings to consumers, enabling delivery of services that may not even be imagined today,” said Tony Werner, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Liberty Global, Inc. “Needless to say, these specifications advance our competitive position in the IP space,” added Werner, who is chairman of the DOCSIS Business Team at CableLabs.
The specifications were made available for review and comment early this year to supplier companies that have signed non-disclosure agreements with CableLabs. The week of July 17th, 2006 CableLabs hosted a week long interoperability event to bring together suppliers that have been utilizing the specifications to develop DOCSIS 3.0 products.
The interoperability event involved the following companies representing cable modem termination system (CMTS) headend equipment, consumer premise cable modems and test equipment: ARRIS, BigBand Networks, Broadcom Corp., Casa Systems, Conexant Systems, Filtronic Signal Solutions, NETGEAR, Scientific Atlanta a Cisco company, Cisco Linksys, and Cisco Systems. The industry's first DOCSIS 3.0 interoperability event was a success. All companies' downstream channel bonding products were able to interoperate with each other with data successfully being transferred over the bonded channels. In addition, limited IPv6 testing was successfully performed.
“We greatly appreciate the strong support from suppliers as evidenced by their commitment of resources in helping to create these specifications,” said Peter Stern, Executive Vice President of Product Management for Time Warner Cable and a member of the DOCSIS Business Team.
“IPv6 implementation is a critical tool for our industry as we seek both to expand our triple play offerings and to extend into new areas. It also will allow cable operators to effectively manage the proliferation of devices that are capturing consumer interest, including portable media players, cellular phones, gaming consoles, PDAs and others,” said David Fellows, Comcast Chief Technology Officer.
As part of the DOCSIS 3.0 certification/qualification program, CableLabs will offer a new test submission option to suppliers in order to accommodate those who want to get an early indication of partial feature compliance to DOCSIS 3.0. This test option involves certifying cable modem equipment or qualifying CMTS equipment to the DOCSIS 1.1 or 2.0 specifications and running a parallel DOCSIS 3.0 practice run to provide test results to the suppliers with respect to compliance with the DOCSIS 3.0 requirements.
“This new option presents suppliers with a chance to have their product tested in the world class CableLabs facilities and offers cable operators the opportunity to have interoperability testing on pre-3.0 equipment,” said Marwan Fawaz, Chief Technology Officer of Charter Communications. “The test option really hits a sweet spot,” added Fawaz, who is also a member of the DOCSIS Business Team.
“We will be ready to conduct interoperability, certification and qualification testing on 3.0 products whenever suppliers are ready, as is our normal position,” said CableLabs Michelle Kuska, Vice President of Broadband Access, the CableLabs group managing the development of the DOCSIS 3.0 specifications. “I want to thank our CableLabs team, the members and the supporting suppliers who have worked exceptionally hard to complete this specification process successfully within an extremely tight schedule. I would particularly like to recognize the 143 contributing engineers and 7 visiting engineers representing 28 manufacturers who were instrumental in developing these specifications with CableLabs. Clearly this means a lot to our members and to the consumers who demand these kinds of innovative products and services from cable operators.”
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.
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