Analysis Weighs Upgrade Options for Achieving Symmetric Gigabit Services

Network Upgrade Total Cost of Ownership

Todd Bryan
Principal Strategist

May 14, 2024

Key Points

  • DOCSIS 4.0 technology has arrived, giving operators another network upgrade choice to consider.
  • CableLabs can provide key analyses to create a full economic picture of different upgrade options, including total-cost-of-ownership modeling based on members’ existing network inputs and upgrade paths.

The era of DOCSIS®️ 4.0 networks has arrived, and the technology is providing a cost-effective upgrade option and competitive choice for cable operators on their path to symmetric multi-gigabit services.

Considering this, CableLabs has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the financial implications associated with deploying and operating different access network technologies. More specifically, our analysis examines the total cost of ownership (TCO) for different upgrade paths for DOCSIS 3.1 low-split on hybrid fiber coax (HFC) access networks — including both DOCSIS over HFC and passive optical networking (PON) over fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) upgrade options.

In short, we find merits for both. The full results of our extensive analysis are outlined in a CableLabs strategy brief, available exclusively for CableLabs members. Members can register for an account here.

A Robust Analysis

It’s a good time for industry operators to consider different upgrade options, but it’s necessary for them to step back and look at the bigger picture when it comes to cost. Of course, it’s not as simple as tallying up the costs of construction and new equipment, or only adding up power and maintenance costs.

Our calculations, which we’ve continually refined over the past several years, include all these considerations and much more, making this analysis as comprehensive as possible — and more thorough than most public estimates.

Using real-world, anonymized data from CableLabs members, our robust calculations create a single metric to effectively compare access network options.

A Flexible Model

Our analysis doesn’t provide a one-size-fits-all answer for operators considering an upgrade, but it can help inform their decisions when combined with financial objectives, existing network structure and the competitive landscape. This model will continue to evolve, and we’ll explore additional cost-related network upgrade issues in future strategy briefs.

Are you a CableLabs member operator curious to know what our analysis would reveal about your company’s upgrade options? We invite you to reach out and let us customize our analysis to your company’s needs. Read our strategy brief, "Economic Comparison of HFC and FTTH Access Networks," and connect with us for a walk-through of our findings.

For more about revenue impacts related to upgrade options, I recommend the Bandwidth Usage, Market Monitor and Discrete Choice Modeling reports — all available to CableLabs members.

Click the button below to register for a CableLabs account and gain access to the strategy brief.