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Full Duplex DOCSIS® 3.1

The result of applying emerging techniques from wireless networks to achieve a breakthrough increase in DOCSIS upstream speeds

  • Symmetrical Up/Down Capabilities

    In Full Duplex communication, the upstream and downstream traffic concurrently use the same spectrum , doubling the efficiency of spectrum use. Unlike FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) where spectrum is split between the upstream and downstream (as in current DOCSIS networks), or TDD (Time Division Duplexing) where spectrum is time shared between upstream and downstream traffic, full duplex communication enables upstream and downstream traffic to efficiently use the same spectrum at the same time.

  • 10x the Upload Speeds Available Today

    Before today, maximum upload speeds of up to 1 Gbps were possible. Now, with full duplex technology, we’ve been able to significantly increase upload speed capabilities which will enable very high-capacity symmetrical services for residential and business services. Today, a typical broadband customer’s upstream data consumption is only 10% of their downstream consumption. As new technologies and applications emerge that enable customers and their devices to share interactive high-resolution video, our networks will be prepared to support the speed and latency requirements.

The Evolution of DOCSIS

Downstream Capacity
Upstream Capacity
Production Date
Initial cable broadband technology, high speed internet access
Added voice over IP service, gaming, streaming
Higher upstream speed, capacity for symmetric services
Greatly enhances capacity, channel bonding, IPv6
Capacity and efficiency progression, OFDM, wideband channel
Symmetrical streaming and increased upload speeds
40 Mbps
40 Mbps
40 Mbps
1 Gbps
10 Gbps
10 Gbps
10 Mbps
10 Mbps
30 Mbps
100 Mbps
1-2 Gbps
10 Gbps


What is Full Duplex DOCSIS® 3.1?

Full Duplex DOCSIS® 3.1 is an extension of the DOCSIS 3.1 specifications that will significantly increase upstream capacity and enable symmetric multi-Gbps services over existing HFC networks. Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 technology builds on the successful completion of the DOCSIS 3.1 specifications, which will make 10 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream broadband speeds a reality.

How did Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 evolve?

CableLabs has a rich involvement with academic institutions in the USA and around the world. As part of CableLabs engagement with academia, we were following ongoing research in the wireless industry and identified wireless full duplex as a technology that could be applied to cable networks, and most importantly, leverages the existing investment in HFC infrastructure. CableLabs leveraged the FDX communication concept, and developed a solution that is ideal for the HFC network architecture and characteristics.

How does Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 work?

By leveraging the combination of DOCSIS 3.1 technology, passive HFC network characteristics, self-interference cancellation technology and intelligent scheduling, CableLabs has developed a solution that enables full duplex communications over the HFC network while still maintaining backward compatibility with previous generations of DOCSIS technology.

In Full Duplex communication, the upstream and downstream traffic concurrently use the same spectrum, doubling the efficiency of spectrum use. With current DOCSIS networks and TDD (Time Division Duplexing), spectrum is split between the upstream and downstream. Full Duplex communication enables upstream and downstream traffic to efficiently use the same spectrum at the same time.

How does Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 benefit consumers?

Full Duplex DOCSIS technology enables Multi-Gbps symmetrical services possible over the existing HFC networks thus supporting future applications with high upstream traffic demand such as sensor networks, virtual reality, smart cars, the tactile internet and new applications not yet imagined.

Full Duplex DOCSIS technology can be introduced with no disruption to the consumer as it is backward compatible with previous DOCSIS technologies and works with existing HFC infrastructure.

How is CableLabs and the industry cooperating to develop Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1?
  • In June 2016, Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 transitioned from an innovation project to an industry wide R&D effort led by CableLabs, where vendors and member cable operators of CableLabs can collaborate on developing Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 specifications
  • CableLabs estimates that the specifications will be released by late 2017.
  • Cisco has contributed a silicon reference design to accelerate the technology’s development and eventual deployment.
Where can I find DOCSIS 3.1 resources?

DOCSIS 3.1 information and resources can be found in its new home URL: