CableLabs https://www.cablelabs.com We wake up every day to invent the future. Mon, 26 Oct 2020 15:32:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 A Proposal for a Long-Term Post-Quantum Transitioning Strategy for the Broadband Industry via Composite Crypto and PQPs https://www.cablelabs.com/a-proposal-for-a-long-term-post-quantum-transitioning-strategy-for-the-broadband-industry-via-composite-crypto-and-pqps Thu, 22 Oct 2020 16:02:48 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26941 The broadband industry has historically relied on public-key cryptography to provide secure and strong authentication across access networks and devices. In our environment, one of the most challenging issues—when it comes to cryptography—is to support devices with different capabilities. Some of these devices may or may not be fully (or even partially) upgradeable. This can be due to software limitations (e.g., firmware or applications cannot be securely updated) or hardware limitations (e.g., crypto accelerators or secure elements).

A Heterogeneous Ecosystem

When researching our transitioning strategy, we realized that—especially for constrained devices—the only option at our disposal was the use of pre-shared keys (PSKs) to allow for post-quantum safe authentications for the various identified use cases.

In a nutshell, our proposal combines the use of composite crypto, post-quantum algorithms and timely distributed PSKs to accommodate the coexistence of our main use cases: post-quantum capable devices, post-quantum validation capable devices and classic-only devices. In addition to providing a classification of the various types of devices based on their crypto capabilities to support the transition, we also looked at the use of composite crypto for the next-generation DOCSIS® PKI to allow the delivery of multi-algorithm support for the entire ecosystem: Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) as a more efficient alternative to the current RSA algorithm, and a post-quantum algorithm (PQA) for providing long-term quantum-safe authentications. We devised a long-term transitioning strategy for allowing secure authentications in our heterogeneous ecosystem, in which new and old must coexist for a long time.

Three Classes of Devices

The history of broadband networks teaches us that we should expect devices that are deployed in DOCSIS® networks to be very long-lived (i.e., 20 or more years). This translates into the added requirement—for our environment—to identify strategies that allow for the different classes of devices to still perform secure authentications under the quantum threat. To better understand what is needed to protect the different types of devices, we classified them into three distinct categories based on their long-term cryptographic capabilities.

Classic-Only Devices. This class of devices does not provide any crypto-upgrade capability, except for supporting the composite crypto construct. For this class of devices, we envision deploying post-quantum PSKs (PQPs) to devices. These keys are left dormant until the quantum-safe protection is needed for the public-key algorithm.

PKS Protection
 

Specifically, while the identity is still provided via classic signatures and associated certificate chains, the protection against quantum is provided via the pre-deployed PSKs. Various techniques have been identified to make sure these keys are randomly combined and updated while attached to the network: an attacker would be required to have access to the full history of the device traffic to be able to get access to the PSKs. This solution can be deployed today for cable modems and other fielded devices.

Quantum-Validation Capable Devices. This type of device does not provide the possibility to upgrade the secure storage or the private key algorithms, but their crypto libraries can be updated to support selected PQAs and quantum-safe key encapsulation mechanisms (KEMs). Devices with certificates issued under the original RSA infrastructure must still use the deployed PSKs to protect the full authentication chain, whereas devices whose credentials are issued under the new PKI need only protect the link between the signature and the device certificate. For these devices, PSKs can be transferred securely via quantum-resistant KEMs.

Quantum Capable Devices. These devices will have full PQA support (both for authentication and validation) and might support classic algorithms for validation. The use of composite crypto allows for validating the same entities across the quantum-threat hump, especially on the access network side. To validate classic-only devices, the use of Kerberos can address symmetric pairwise PSKs distribution for authentication and encryption.

Composite Crypto Solves a Fundamental Problem

In our proposal for a post-quantum transitioning strategy for the broadband industry, we identified the use of composite crypto and PQPs as the two necessary building blocks for enabling secure authentication for all PKI data (from digital certificates to revocation information).

When composite crypto and PQPs are deployed together, the proposed architecture allows for secure authentication across different classes of devices (i.e., post-quantum and classic), lowers the costs of transitioning to quantum-safe algorithms by requiring the support of a single infrastructure (also required for indirect authentication data like “stapled” OCSP responses), extends the lifetime of classic devices across the quantum hump and does not require protocol changes (even proprietary ones) as the two-certificate solution would require.

Ultimately, the use of composite crypto efficiently solves the fundamental problem of associating both classic and quantum-safe algorithms to a single identity.

To learn more, watch SCTE Tec-Expo 2020’s “Evolving Security Tools: Advances in Identity Management, Crytography & Secure Processing” recording and participate to the KeyFactor’s 2020 Summit.

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A “101” on DOCSIS® Technology: The Heart of Cable Broadband https://www.cablelabs.com/a-101-on-docsis-technology-the-heart-of-cable-broadband Wed, 14 Oct 2020 15:29:22 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26852 Welcome to the first installment of our CableLabs 101 series about a suite of breakthrough technologies that are instrumental in the path toward the cable industry’s 10G vision—a new era of connectivity that will revolutionize the way we live, work, learn and play. These technologies work together to further expand the capabilities of cable’s hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) network by increasing connection speeds and capacity, lowering latency and enhancing network reliability and security to meet cable customers’ needs for many years to come.

Let’s begin with the DOCSIS specification that started it all. Without DOCSIS technology, cable broadband would look much different.

What Is DOCSIS?

Initially released by CableLabs in 1997, DOCSIS—or Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification—is the technology that enables broadband internet service over an HFC network, now used by hundreds of millions of residential and business customers around the globe. It is essentially the set of specifications that allows different cable industry vendors to design interoperable cable modems (the piece of network equipment that sits in the home) and cable modem termination systems (CMTSs—the network equipment that sits in the cable operator’s hub site). The CMTS is a head-end traffic controller that routes data between the modem in the home and the internet.

DOCSIS technology helped usher in the era of broadband and “always on” internet connections, enabling a wave of innovation that continues to this day.  With DOCSIS technology, internet customers were no longer forced to use dial-up solutions that tied up home phone lines and probably caused a significant spike in family feuds. The DOCSIS solution changed everything. Not only did it allow for an “always-on” cable connection (no dial-up required!), it was also significantly faster than dial up.  We’ll talk about connection speed—along with capacity, latency and other network performance metrics—and how they affect you a little later in this article.

How Does It Work?

DOCSIS technology governs how data is transmitted over the HFC network. To understand how it works, we need to start with the HFC network—the physical infrastructure that most cable companies use to provide high-speed internet connectivity to their customers. As the name suggests, the HFC network is composed of two parts: the fiber optical network and the coaxial network. HFC networks are predominantly fiber, as illustrated in our recent blog post. The remaining portion of the HFC network is coaxial cable. The coaxial network is connected to the optical fiber network at a “fiber node,” where the (fiber) optical signals are converted to radio frequency electrical signals for transmission over the coaxial network to the subscriber’s home. The HFC network seamlessly transmits data from the CMTS to your cable modem (we call this “downstream” or “download” traffic) or from your modem back to the CMTS (“upstream” or “upload”). In turn, the CMTS is connected to the internet via a set of routers in the service provider’s network.

Think of the HFC network as a “highway” and the data as traffic moving in “lanes” in either direction. In the downstream direction, DOCSIS devices translate the data from the internet into signals carried on the fiber optic portion of the HFC network and then down the coaxial network to your modem. On the upstream, the data that you upload is sent back up the network on a separate upstream “lane.” Traditionally, this “highway” has had more lanes dedicated to the downstream traffic than upstream, which matches current customer traffic patterns. All of this is about to change with the 10G vision, which strives toward symmetrical upstream and downstream service speeds.

How Has This Technology Evolved?

DOCSIS technology has come a long way since 1997. Over the years, it has undergone a few iterations, through versions 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0 to 3.1. As DOCSIS has evolved, it has gotten faster by adding more lanes in each direction and it has become more energy-efficient as well. Along the way, several additions to the base technology have been continuously added. These include enabling lower latencies, increased security of the traffic, and tools to make the network more reliable. Today’s cable networks leverage DOCSIS 3.1 technology, which has enabled the widespread availability of 1 Gbps cable broadband services, allowing us to easily enjoy services like 4K video, faster downloads, seamless online gaming and video calls.

DOCSIS 4.0, released in March 2020, is another stepping stone toward that 10G vision. It will quadruple the upstream capacity to 6 Gbps, to match changing data traffic patterns and open doors to even more gigabit services, such as innovative videoconferencing applications and more. DOCSIS 4.0 equipment is still in the process of being developed and is seeing great progress each day toward device certification. Once certification is complete, cable vendors will start mass-producing DOCSIS 4.0-compatible equipment. With the widespread deployment of DOCSIS 4.0 technology, cable operators will have the ability to offer symmetrical multigigabit broadband services over their HFC networks.

How Does This Technology Affect Me and My Future?

All this talk about connection speeds, low latency, reliability and other performance metrics matter to us technologists because it’s how we gauge progress. But it’s so much more than giga-this and giga-that. These metrics will directly impact your future in a real, tangible way.

Over the past two decades, high-speed internet connectivity went from an obscure tech geek novelty to an important part of modern life. We are now streaming in 4K, collaborating on video chat, playing online games with people around the world, driving connected cars and so on. Continuous advancements in DOCSIS technologies are helping make this reality possible by increasing download and upload speeds, lowering latency—or lag—for a more seamless experience, and improving reliability and security to protect our online information.

DOCSIS 4.0 technology will enable symmetrical multigigabit services, ushering in a new wave of innovation across industries and applications, including healthcare, education, entertainment, collaboration technologies, autonomous vehicles and many more. In the near future, we will see advanced health monitoring services, immersive learning and work applications, visually rich VR/AR, holodecks, omnipresent AI assistants and other game-changing innovations that we haven’t even thought of yet. In many ways, the reach and flexibility of cable’s HFC infrastructure is the backbone of our 10G future, and DOCSIS—in combination with other advanced network technologies—is key to helping us reach this Near Future.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DOCSIS TECHNOLOGIES

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New Release of Wi-Fi Certified Vantage™ Continues to Improve the Wi-Fi User Experience https://www.cablelabs.com/new-release-of-wi-fi-certified-vantage-continues-to-improve-the-wi-fi-user-experience Mon, 12 Oct 2020 15:55:33 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26806 Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™ is a certification program created within the Wi-Fi Alliance® that makes it easy to select devices that provide an enhanced Wi-Fi experience in managed Wi-Fi networks. The latest release is now available (as of September 2020).This is the culmination of over a year’s worth of collaboration within the Wi-Fi ecosystem under CableLabs’ leadership that delivers feature-rich devices to improve Wi-Fi user experience.

The primary goal of the Wi-Fi Vantage certification program is to provide a more reliable and higher-performance user experience than unmanaged best-effort Wi-Fi networks can provide. The Wi-Fi Vantage certification program designates a highly developed set of Wi-Fi technologies optimized for managed Wi-Fi networks that directly address Wi-Fi managed network operator needs.

Wi-Fi Vantage bundles pertinent Wi-Fi Alliance certifications that improve overall network performance, deliver the latest in Wi-Fi security and encryption standards, and alleviate congestion on mobile data networks. Wi-Fi Vantage delivers a more reliable and consistent connectivity experience for users when they’re establishing network access, onboarding devices, accessing services and traversing Wi-Fi networks.

Wi-Fi Vantage will continue to be available for Wi-Fi 5 generation devices, and Wi-Fi Vantage certification for Wi-Fi 6 will now include advanced features:

NEW RELEASE OF WI-FI CERTIFIED VANTAGE™ CONTINUES TO IMPROVE THE WI-FI USER EXPERIENCE
Source: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™

Vantage Evolution

The newest generation of Wi-Fi Vantage Release 3 includes newly developed IEEE 802.11 features and state-of-the-art Wi-Fi technology that can be used in a broader base of operator-managed environments, including public, residential and enterprise. Vantage Release 3 adds Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi and WPA 3, and Enhanced Open certifications that deliver higher data rates, less congestion, more user capacity and superior security.

Wi-Fi Vantage will continue to evolve incorporating the latest technologies, giving users the most enhanced Wi-Fi experience available. Each new generation of Wi-Fi Vantage devices will provide improved device performance and reduced network connection times when customers access managed Wi-Fi networks.

As Wi-Fi data usage and user applications continue to grow, those factors introduce strain on the Wi-Fi network that impacts user experience and Wi-Fi network operation. Strains such as maintaining connection, reliable service delivery and spectrum interference/management are some of the common challenges Wi-Fi operators are trying to overcome.

The collective feature set of Wi-Fi Vantage was built to address these strains. For example, the Wi-Fi Vantage features of enhanced network discovery and advanced roaming have been trialed and demonstrated to improve performance in network connection by decreasing setup times by 76 percent and reducing management frame and beacon congestion an average of 70 percent compared with the performance of non-certified Wi-Fi Vantage devices. This is just one example of how Wi-Fi Vantage devices use unique features to overcome Wi-Fi network strains on managed networks.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™ Benefits to Network Operators

  • Streamlined product procurement decisions
  • Improved network performance and resource management
  • Consistent coverage across network
  • Ability to influence client roaming behavior
  • AP load balancing
  • Latest Wi-Fi security and encryption standards
  • Quality user experiences
  • Data offload

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™ Benefits to Users

  • Simpler, light or no-touch access
  • Secure onboarding
  • Faster speeds
  • Consistent, reliable coverage
  • Seamless transitions from Wi-Fi to cellular

The Wi-Fi Vantage feature set definition is driven by the operator community within the Wi-Fi Alliance that consists of Wi-Fi industry experts who have a pragmatic understanding of operator needs. A dedicated task group, led by CableLabs, was created in the Wi-Fi Alliance to address and develop certifications to meet these needs. CableLabs will continue to work with the Wi-Fi ecosystem to identify common Wi-Fi operator network strains and develop collaborative solutions in the form of standards certification.

Read more about Wi-Fi Vantage, including an animation and WFA overview papers: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage Enhancing the managed Wi-Fi network experience and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™ Technology Overview.

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CableLabs Specifications Move From De Facto to De Jure https://www.cablelabs.com/cablelabs-specifications-move-from-de-facto-to-de-jure Tue, 06 Oct 2020 15:49:54 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26762 The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines de facto and de jure as follows:

de facto | di-ˈfak-(ˌ)tō – actual, exercising power as if legally constituted

de jure | (ˌ)dē-ˈju̇r-ē – by right, based on laws or actions of the state

In law and government, de facto describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws, whereas de jure describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality.

De facto is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with de jure, which refers to things that happen according to law.

The CableLabs® DOCSIS® series of specifications have been de facto standards for the cable industry for over 20 years. In parallel, CableLabs has contributed its specifications to de jure telecommunications industry standards bodies, specifically the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T), the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers/International Society Broadband Experts (SCTE/ISBE).

In the past, creating a de jure standard was a lengthy process involving the reformatting of the specifications into the standards body’s document template, proofreading the reformatting for any errors, submitting the reformatted content as a contribution, and taking it through the standards body’s standardization process. These steps could take many months or even years. Because CableLabs’ specifications are living documents under strict document control (and may have a certification program linked to revisions under this document control), the official de jure standards body’s copy can quickly become out of date. To keep the copy up to date, the process of reformatting, proofreading, submitting, and going through the standards process, has to be repeated with every revision. This reality has led to the unfortunate result that the official de jure standards have been consistently out-of-date.

However, with the SCTE/ISBE publication of the DOCSIS 4.0 standard, now all three of the relevant de jure telecommunications industry standards bodies simply normatively reference the CableLabs specifications, either directly as is the case with SCTE/ISBE and ITU-T, or indirectly as is the case with ETSI. This simplifies the revision process to one of updating a few normative references and approving them. The process of updating these de jure standards has therefore become a much more streamlined activity and the official de jure standards can remain in sync with the CableLabs specifications.

One might ask, “Why does this matter?” Quite simply, it is a matter of law versus fact, as the definitions of de facto and de jure make clear. Regional governments (“the law”) globally prefer to recognize standards that result from the due process of a de jure standards body rather than a potentially proprietary solution coming from a single manufacturer or industry consortia. The standards process will vet these solutions and typically come with an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy by which all participants must abide. Now that all of the relevant de jure standards bodies have adopted this practice cable operators around the world can confidently purchase products compliant with the CableLabs specifications, knowing that they are also fully compliant with any of the official standards from the aforementioned standards bodies.

In effect, ITU-T, ETSI, and SCTE/ISBE have all recognized that the CableLabs DOCSIS specifications are not only the de facto global standard, but also the de jure global standard. There is no longer is any gap between the facts and the law.

READ MORE ABOUT DOCSIS 4.0 TECHNOLOGIES

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Facts You May Not Know About the Cable Industry https://www.cablelabs.com/facts-you-may-not-know-about-the-cable-industry Thu, 01 Oct 2020 16:14:32 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26735 The cable industry has been around since 1948, first delivering broadcast TV channels, then cable TV channels starting in the 1970s and finally—cable broadband internet in 1996. The introduction of fast-speed, “always-on” cable internet changed everything. It accelerated innovation across multiple industries and created whole new markets. Just take a moment to think: how many times a day do you do something that requires an internet connection and where would you be without it?

The cable broadband industry now serves over 200 million households—and counting—around the world. Even if yours is one of them, you probably don’t give too much thought to what cable internet is or how it works. Internet has become an important part of modern life enabling us to learn and work from home, watch in 4K, schedule telemedicine appointments, play online multiplayer games, remote control our home security systems and so on. In fact, cable industry is the leader in delivering next-generation broadband services, with cable gigabit services available to over 80% of U.S. homes. Plus, roughly half of global cable operators are also mobile providers, so you can take your modern conveniences on the go.

While it might seem like an overnight success, building a super-fast and reliable broadband platform for millions of everyday users required a lot of collaboration and around $290 billion dollars in infrastructure and network investments over the past 20 years in the U.S.. Earlier this year, CableLabs released the DOCSIS® 4.0 specification, the latest version of the technology that governs how a broadband internet signal is transmitted over cable. When widely adopted, DOCSIS 4.0 technology will quadruple network upload capacity to up to 6 Gbps, that will support a new wave of innovative experiences and much more. But we’re not stopping here. This is only a stepping stone toward cable’s 10G vision.

Along with speed, capacity, latency and other network performance metrics, the cable industry also improved the energy efficiency of its equipment by reducing energy consumption through voluntary commitments. All these ongoing improvements, together with cable’s expansive network footprint and unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of broadband customers, are the perfect recipe for building the super network of the future. Stay tuned!

Cable Industry Facts
You can download the infographic here.

FIND OUT WHO YOUR CABLE PROVIDER IS

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On the Path to 10G: CableLabs Publishes Flexible MAC Architecture Specification https://www.cablelabs.com/on-the-path-to-10g-cablelabs-publishes-flexible-mac-architecture-specification Wed, 30 Sep 2020 16:00:47 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26719 Today we are pleased to announce the release of the Flexible MAC Architecture (FMA) library of specifications. Along with the FMA System specification, we are also releasing the FMA MAC Manager Interface (MMI) and the FMA PacketCable Aggregator Interface (PAI) specs. This is the culmination of thousands of hours of work across the cable industry, on a global scale.

The FMA project is a part of the larger Distributed Access Architecture program at CableLabs. This program includes Remote PHY (R-PHY) as well as other projects like DOCSIS 4.0, Coherent Optics and others. FMA defines the standardization of the complete disaggregation of the CCAP management, control and data planes. The specification provides standard interfaces between OSS/NMS/Orchestration and the FMA management and control planes as well as a standard interface abstraction layer to cable access equipment. All of this allows for vendor independence and equipment interoperability.

As a part of the suite of technologies that support the 10G platform, FMA is a key disaggregated access network architecture that supports DOCSIS 4.0 requirements to achieve downstream speeds up to 10 Gbps and upstream speeds up to 6 Gbps. The FMA technology is complementary to the R-PHY technology and together complete a toolset of disaggregated technologies to support an operator’s next-generation data services.

Figure 1: FMA & R-PHY Architecture

Figure 1: FMA & R-PHY Architecture

FMA specification work started in late 2017 and was described in a February, 2018 video blog post. When this project kicked off at the behest of the cable industry, CableLabs and its partner vendors worked with an operator steering committee to define the scope of the project that set the wheels in motion for the development of the specification and issued release today.

What’s Next For FMA

The issuance of the specification is the initial step in a comprehensive process in order for CableLabs vendor partners to develop products and ultimately for operators to deploy those products and provide 10G services. We will continue to develop the specifications and it is our plan to begin FMA in-depth interoperability events in 2021.

If you would like to participate in the FMA working group activities, please make your request via workinggroups@cablelabs.com.

READ THE FULL SPECIFICATION

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A Fiber-Rich Cable Network: What Does It Really Mean? https://www.cablelabs.com/a-fiber-rich-cable-network-what-does-it-really-mean Fri, 25 Sep 2020 18:36:51 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26705 Cable networks are fiber-rich, and cable operators have long invested in deploying more fiber deeper into their networks. A fiber-rich environment enables greater capacity, increased speeds and more flexibility to support a range of access technologies. Although cable broadband networks are typically composed of both fiber optic and coaxial cables, most cable customers are surprised to learn that the vast majority of the distance that an internet packet travels is over fiber.

In simple terms, a cable network is composed mostly of fiber that connects the interconnection border gateways to the regional hubs to the optical nodes. The remaining short distance—from the optical node to the customer’s home and then to each individual device in the home—is where the internet packet travels over coaxial cable and home Wi-Fi.

Let’s take a look at a simple real-life example, illustrated below. When a cable customer in Vancouver, Canada, makes a video call to a cable customer in Ames, Iowa, the data starts its journey over Wi-Fi to the home router and then travels about a quarter of a mile from the router to the nearest optical node via a coaxial cable. From that point, the data is converted to a fiber-optic signal that carries it for about 2,499 miles—or 99.96 percent of the total journey—to another neighborhood optical node in Ames. The remaining half-mile or less from the node to the other customer’s home is again transmitted over coax and Wi-Fi. As you can see, less than 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) of the data’s 2,500-mile (3,200-kilometer) journey between Vancouver and Ames is transmitted over coax and Wi-Fi—the rest is all fiber!

Cable: A Fiber Rich Network

Click on the image to enlarge.

You can download the infographic here. Interested in learning more about cable networks in the future? Subscribe to our blog.


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Meet the CableLabs Experts Speaking at the All-Virtual SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo® 2020 https://www.cablelabs.com/meet-the-cablelabs-experts-speaking-at-the-all-virtual-scte%e2%80%a2isbe-cable-tec-expo-2020 Tue, 22 Sep 2020 16:22:01 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26633 This year, our colleagues at SCTE•ISBE are taking full advantage of the power of connectivity to make one of the biggest industry events completely virtual—and FREE—to all attendees. The first-ever SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo® Virtual Experience (sponsored by Charter Communications, Comcast and Cox Communications) is scheduled for October 12–15, 2020, and we’re very excited to be a part of it. We’ll have a virtual showcase starting on October 9th, and we’ve arranged for multiple speakers and moderators from CableLabs to participate in this year’s event, covering a broad range of topics from AI to fixed-mobile convergence to the future of 10G, and much more.

The theme of SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo®2020 is Imagine the Possibilities, and it’s all about exploring the future of our increasingly connected world. This topic resonates with many of our experts here at CableLabs who are working on advancing cable network technologies to meet the needs of current and future generations. We’d like to introduce you to a few of them.

  • Phil McKinney | President and CEO of CableLabs
    Session: CEO Welcome, Chairman’s Welcome and Opening General Session
    When: October 12 @ 11:00 AM–1:30 PM EDT

Author, innovation guru and CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney will kick off the General Session by introducing the participants and setting the overall objective for the 2020 Cable-Tec Expo.

  • Steve Goeringer | Distinguished Technologist
    Session: The Cable Industry and Fraud: What It Is and What To Do About It
    When: October 12 @ 1:00–2:00 PM EDT

Steve will moderate a discussion about the evolution of cyber fraud and how operators can prevent, detect and respond to attacks within the parameters of the privacy law.

  • Karthik Sundaresan | Distinguished Technologist
    Session: Latency Labors: Solving for the (Super Low) Requirements of What’s Coming
    When: October 12 @ 1:00 PM–2:00 PM EDT

In the Latency session, Karthik will offer well-needed focus on how latency can be represented quantitatively, including metrics for describing latency behavior and methods of collecting those metrics.

  • Greg White | Distinguished Technologist of Next-Generation Systems
    Session: Latency Labors: Solving for the (Super Low) Requirements of What’s Coming
    When: October 12 @ 1:00 PM–2:00 PM EDT

Greg will moderate a four-part workshop that focuses on latency and ways to lower latency to meet consumer demand for seamless digital experiences, such as multiplayer online gaming and workplace collaboration tools.

  • Debbie Fitzgerald | Immersive Experiences and Technology Policy, CableLabs
    Session: The 10G Platform: Powering the Smart Home of the Future
    When: October 12 @ 1:30 PM–2:00 PM EDT

What was once only imagined is now becoming reality with applications such as VR/AR, holographic devices and other high-tech high-bandwidth technologies in the home. Debbie Fitzgerald and key players that were involved with the Mediacom 10G Smart Home showcase project will discuss technological challenges and future opportunities.

  • Craig Pratt | Lead Security Engineer
    Session: Customer-Facing Security Mechanisms: Keeping People Safe Without Compromising Their Experiences
    When: October 12 @ 3:00–4:00 PM EDT

Craig will cover the WFA Easy Connect specification, which integrates into the CableLabs Frictionless Onboarding System to keep Wi-Fi connections secure.

  • Curtis Knittle | Vice President of Wired Technologies
    Session: The HFC Future: 10G, FDX and Extended Spectrum
    When: October 13 @ 9:30–10:30 AM EDT

Curtis will join his colleagues from CommScope and Comcast for a three-part workshop on future-proofing cable’s HFC networks on the path to 10G and beyond.

  • Max Pala | Principal Architect of Security
    Session: Evolving Security Tools: Advances in Identity Management, Cryptography and Secure Processing
    When: October 13 @ 9:30–10:30 AM EDT

Security, PKI and encryption expert Max Pala will cover the latest developments in quantum computing as a possible means to break public key cryptography.

  • Karthik Sundaresan | Distinguished Technologist
    Session: An Upstream Path Forecast: OFDMA Ahead
    When: October 13 @ 1:00 PM–2:00 PM EDT

Karthik will join the OFDMA session to talk about the work with NOS to develop an upstream Profile Management Application.

  • Mark Poletti | Director of Wireless
    Session: Current Events in CBRS for Cable
    When: October 13 @ 1:00–2:00 PM EDT

Mark will join experts from Celona and Charter to examine the opportunities offered by the FCC’s decision to make the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum band available for unlicensed use in private LTE/5G networks.

  • Jason Rupe | Principal Architect
    Session: Proactive Network Management: Cool Tools to Identify and Eliminate Impairments
    When: October 13 @ 1:00 PM–2:00 PM EDT

As an expert in Proactive Network Management, Jason will take a look at profile management in DOCSIS® 3.1, including ways to sidestep LTE interference in the middle of an OFDM channel.

  • Kyle Haefner | Senior Security Engineer
    Session: Applying AI in the Home to Improve Consumer Experiences
    When: October 14 @ 3:00–4:00 PM EDT

Kyle will share recent academic work to classify devices and learn their behavior, so that the network can identify devices—and determine when they’re operating outside of their norm.

  • Jennifer Andreoli-Fang | Distinguished Technologist
    Session: The State of Converging Access and 5G Mobile Networks: What’s Happening, and What Matters?
    When: October 15 @ 10:00–11:15 AM EDT

Jennifer will kick off the workshop with a look at transport convergence between mobile and DOCSIS® technology, including major MSO deployments in North America and Europe.

  • Robert Cruickshank | Proactive Network Management Advisor
    Session: Powering 10G: What It Takes and How to Do It
    When: October 15 @ 1:00–2:00 PM EDT

A recognized expert in early cable technology development, Robert will examine data coming from a Gridmetrics pilot program to measure, monitor and track the availability and stability of voltage in the last mile of the access network’s power grid.

  • Matt Schmitt | Principal Architect
    Session: I’d Like a (Network) Slice, Please: Current Events in Multi-Network Convergence
    When: October 15 @ 1:00 PM–2:00 PM EDT

Matt will talk about CableLabs’ Convergence Lab and new business opportunities beyond
residential broadband, including mobile fronthaul/backhaul, business-grade Ethernet and
remote OLT.

You can always count on SCTE•ISBE Cable Tec Expo to bring together thousands of tech’s most ambitious minds, including leading innovators, technologists and visionaries. This year is no different. In fact, now it’s even easier to register and join from the comfort of your own home or workplace office. Although you can expect some deviation from the usual event proceedings due the virtual format, all the main event sessions are generally still in place, including the thought-provoking General Session, Innovation Theater presentations, Interactive Sponsor Showcase and, of course, the educational heart of the event—the Fall Technical Forum. You can learn more about all the CableLabs speakers here or review the full agenda on the SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo® site. Visit CableLabs and Kyrio at the Interactive Sponsor Showcase. We hope to “see” you at the Expo!

REGISTER

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Welcome to the Smart Home of the Future, Powered by 10G https://www.cablelabs.com/welcome-to-the-smart-home-of-the-future-powered-by-10g Fri, 18 Sep 2020 16:06:50 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26614 Today, we’re very excited to announce another successful milestone on the road to 10G. We’ve partnered with Mediacom Communications—one of the first cable operators to roll out gigabit service to all of its customers—and the NCTA-The Internet & Television Association to bring you a real-life demonstration of how 10G will power the smart home of the future. This demonstration is part of the first-ever 10G field trial conducted by Mediacom in Ames, Iowa.

Introduced in early 2019 as cable’s next great leap forward for broadband, the 10G platform will power a new wave of innovation that will be able to take full advantage of its ultra-fast, multi-gigabit symmetrical download and upload speeds, imperceptible latency and enhanced security and reliability. We’ve talked a lot about 10G over the past year and have even made a few videos to help you visualize what this new world might look like in the near future, but this is the first time we’re participating in a demonstration that brings the 10G vision to life.

What Is Mediacom’s 10G Smart Home? 

In simple terms, Mediacom’s 10G Smart Home is a lab. It’s a working technology laboratory wired for ultrafast speeds that allows Mediacom to test cutting-edge consumer applications in a real-world environment. What might look like an ordinary home is anything but! From the kitchen to the laundry room, every living area of this home has been outfitted with smart home technologies that will help the “future you” live your best life. The showcase includes:

  • Kitchen devices that blend IoT technology to create wholesome food
  • Telemedicine connections to improve patient engagement and care
  • Home automation technology that allows control of the environment with one tap or command
  • High-energy egaming played with low latency and seamless engagement and interactivity
  • Immersive entertainment experiences
  • Virtual and augment reality applications powered by the body’s own electricity to de-stress and quiet the mind
  • A variety of other technologies that can help with pet care, working from home, distance learning and even window washing

This demonstration is a thrilling glimpse into the ways 10G can transform and enhance every aspect of your life.

Inside the home, CableLabs showcases the next generation of display technologies for entertainment, research and education. As you can imagine, holographic video requires an enormous amount of data, but we’ll soon see holographic 3D images and video that won’t require glasses or heavy headwear. These are the types of experiences that our 10G platform will make possible.

Launched on September 17, 2020, Mediacom’s 10G Smart Home launch event included welcome messages from former FCC Chairman and NCTA CEO Michael Powell, CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney as well as high-profile attendees such as representatives from state and local government, the press and tech influencers. 

A True Tech Paradise

In a tech world, innovation faithfully follows the classic “if you build it, they will come” philosophy, which means that as internet speeds increase, new inventions come to light. Think about holodecks, video walls, immersive cord-free VR experiences and many other technologies that we haven’t even imagined that will help us live, learn, work and play in the future. Cable’s 10G platform will give innovators the flexibility they need to dream up big ideas that aren’t constrained by data limits and pave the way for a new hyperconnected future. That’s why demonstrations like Mediacom’s 10G Smart Home are so important.

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Learn More About 10G

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CableLabs Releases DOCSIS® Simulation Model https://www.cablelabs.com/cablelabs-releases-docsis-simulation-model Thu, 10 Sep 2020 15:58:11 +0000 https://www.cablelabs.com/?p=26575 When it comes to technology innovation, one of the most powerful tools in an engineer’s toolbox is the ability to rapidly test hypotheses through simulations. Simulation frameworks are used in nearly all engineering disciplines as a way to understand complex system behaviors that would be difficult to predict analytically. Simulations also allow the researcher to control variables, explore a wide range of conditions and look deeply into emergent behaviors in ways that are either impossible or extremely challenging to accomplish in real-world testbeds or prototype implementations.

For some of our innovations, CableLabs uses the “ns” family of discrete-event network simulators (widely used in academic networking research) to investigate sophisticated techniques for making substantial improvements in broadband network performance. The ns family originated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the mid-1990s, and has evolved over three versions, with “ns-3” being the current iteration that is actively developed and maintained. The open-source ns-3 is managed by a consortium of academic and industry members, of which CableLabs is a member. Examples of features developed with the help of ns include the Active Queue Management feature of the  DOCSIS 3.1 specifications, which was developed by CableLabs using ns-2, and more recently, the Low Latency DOCSIS technology, which was created using models that we built in ns-3. In both cases, the simulation models were used to explore technology options and guide our decision making. In the end, these models were able to predict system behavior accurately enough to be used as the reference against which cable modems are compared to assess implementation compliance.

CableLabs Releases DOCSIS® Simulation ModelAs a contribution to the global networking research community, CableLabs recently published its DOCSIS simulation model on the ns-3 “App Store,” thus enabling academic and industry researchers to easily include cable broadband links in their network simulations. This is expected to greatly enhance the ability of DOCSIS equipment vendors, operators and academic researchers to explore “what-if” scenarios for improvements in the core technology that underpins many of the services being delivered by cable operators worldwide. For example, a vCMTS developer could easily plug in an experimental new scheduler design and investigate its performance using high-fidelity simulations of real application traffic mixes. Because this DOCSIS model is open source, anyone can modify it for their own purposes and contribute enhancements that can then be published to the community.

If you’ve ever been interested in exploring DOCSIS performance in a particular scenario, or if you have had an idea about a new feature or capability to improve the way data is forwarded in the network, have a look at the new DOCSIS ns-3 module and let us know what you think!

Read More About The New DOCSIS NS-3 Module 

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