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Driving Gigabit Speeds from Lab to Consumer

Cable broadband service is fast, reliable, and widely available. We’re driving performance to new heights.

Availability

Cable Gigabit Service Available to 80% of US Homes

Cable now makes gigabit service (download speeds of 940 Mbps or better) available to 80% of all US housing units, with further expansion anticipated in the near future. Gigabit broadband at this scale was nearly unthinkable just a couple of years ago. Through CableLabs’ innovations, cable operators are making next-generation broadband available today.

Source: FCC Form 477 Data; CableLabs’ Analysis (end of year 2019)

Innovation

Driving increased capacity and lower costs in each segment of the cable broadband network

CableLabs is focused on the complete end-to-end path of the cable broadband network to ensure sufficient capacity in each segment to support increased broadband speeds to the consumer, while at the same time lowering both operational and capital costs in providing cable broadband service.

Innovation

Regional Hub to Neighborhood Node

CableLabs is bringing coherent optics from long-haul to the access network. With coherent optics, cable operators are able to use existing fiber assets while delivering potentially 1,000 times more capacity. We have already demonstrated 50 times more capacity than today's analog optics can achieve, and this is just the beginning.

Innovation

Neighborhood Node to the Subscriber's Home

CableLabs is continuing to drive increased capacity over the coax portion of the network through enhancements and revises the DOCSIS® specification. DOCSIS technology has the potential to deliver 10 gigabits per second of symmetric broadband service over the coax portion of the network.

Innovation

Innovation in Wireless

In recent years, CableLabs has focused substantial resources on developing and enhancing wireless technologies, most notably to increase Wi-Fi speed and reliability, enabling consumer devices to more fully use the increased speeds available through the advances in the coax and fiber portions of the network.

Reach

Cable Broadband is Available to the Vast Majority of all US Housing Units

Fixed Terrestrial Broadband Service (25Mbps/3Mbps) is available to 128 million US Housing Units. Of this, cable broadband service is available to 91%. Cable broadband is provided through the hybrid fiber-coax network that was first built to deliver television programming. The near ubiquity of these networks, in terms of residential availability, has enabled the provision of broadband service to the vast majority of US households. The cable industry continuously evaluates how to further increase the availability of its broadband service.

Source: FCC 477 Data (June 2018); FCC Census Block Estimates

Deployment

Gigabit Broadband Service Has Rapidly Become Available

Cable broadband providers have widely deployed DOCSIS 3.1 technology, enabling the offering of gigabit service to an ever-increasing number of residential areas. Gigabit service builds on cable broadband providers’ well-established track-record of increasing broadband speeds.

12X Increase in Cable Housing Units with 300 Mbps or Better Service Available

From December 2014 to June 2018, cable broadband providers increased the number of housing units that had available 300 Mbps or better broadband service by over 12,000%. By December 2019, cable gigabit was available to 93% all US housing units passed by cable broadband providers.

Source: FCC Form 477 Data (Dec. 2014, Dec. 2015, Dec. 2016, Dec. 2017, June 2018); CableLabs’ Analysis (end of year 2019)

Cable Broadband Availability by Metro Area

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (US Census Bureau; OMB):

  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to over 93% of housing units in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 83% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 96% of housing units in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
  • By December 2017, 98% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 98% of housing units in the Boston metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 98% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to over 99% of housing units in the Bridgeport metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps or more and 33% had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 97% of housing units in the Chicago metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 90% of housing units in the Dallas metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 74% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 99% of housing units in the Hartford metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 65% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 98% of housing units in the Honolulu metropolitan area.
  • By December 2017, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 89% of housing units in the Houston metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 97% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 99% of housing units in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps or more and 59% had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 99% of housing units in the New York metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps or more and 48% had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 98% of housing units in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 96% of housing units in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 94% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 98% of housing units in the Providence metropolitan area.
  • By December 2017, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps or more and 33% had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 97% of housing units in the Raleigh metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 97% of housing units in the Rochester metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 96% of housing units in the San Francisco metropolitan area.
  • By December 2017, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 99% of housing units in the Tampa metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available download speeds of 300 Mbps or more.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 96% of housing units in the Toledo metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps or more and 32% had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 97% of housing units in the Winston-Salem metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, over 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available gigabit download speeds.
  • As of June 2018, cable broadband service is available to 95% of housing units in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
  • By June 2018, 99% of housing units passed by cable broadband service had available maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps or more and 82% had available gigabit download speeds.

Source: FCC 477 Data (Dec. 2014, June 2018); FCC Census Block Estimates

10 Gbps

10 Gbps downstream is now the potential top-line capacity available over cable broadband networks.

26 Devices

There will be 26 connected devices for every person on Earth by 2020. (Intel)

50% CAGR

Available downstream speeds grow by roughly 50% per year. (Nielsen’s Law of Internet Bandwidth)

Energy Efficiency Through Industry Action

10G: The Next Great Leap in Broadband (PDF)

Read the Whitepaper

FAQs

  • What is Cablelabs?

    For 30 years, CableLabs has been at the forefront of innovation, transforming how humans, communities and industries connect. Dating back to the launch of HFC in 1992 to the start of DOCSIS® in 1994, CableLabs has directly impacted the landscape of tomorrow. With its in-house R&D teams and innovation teams, as well as its ecosystem of partners from both inside and outside the cable industry, CableLabs works with academia, government, vendor ecosystem and beyond to grow the communities of tomorrow. The goal is to create a future that is more useful, more connected and more global, by repeatedly pushing the forefront of innovation, transforming concepts and impossibilities into practical and adoptable everyday uses.

    More information on CableLabs can be found here.

  • Who are CableLabs’ members?

    CableLabs’ membership consists of over 60 cable-network operators located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, representing 180 million subscribers and roughly 500 million individuals.

    A full list of CableLabs’ members can be found here.

  • What technologies does CableLabs develop?

    CableLabs innovation and R&D efforts are focused in the areas of wireless network technologies, including in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum; wired network technologies, including both fiber and coaxial cable technologies; cybersecurity; and artificial intelligence.

  • How is cable broadband service able to achieve speeds comparable or better than fiber to the home?

    The cable network is composed of a hybrid of optical fiber and coaxial cable elements, and the specification that enables use of the network for broadband is known as Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, or DOCSIS®, which was developed and continues to be advanced by CableLabs and its members with the input of vendor technology partners. The cable industry is quickly adopting and deploying the latest generation of DOCSIS technology – DOCSIS 3.1. With the currently available DOCSIS 3.1 technology, a cable operator can achieve a 10 Gbps of download capacity, enabling availability of 1-2 Gbps download speed tiers to consumers. Moreover, the current DOCSIS 3.1 specification provides a path to increasing the download capacity over the coax network from 10 Gbps to 15 Gbps through second and third generation silicon. Each new silicon generation supports broader frequency ranges for DOCSIS, possibly up to the full DOCSIS 3.1 limit of about 1.8 GHz. At the 1.8 GHz range limit, over 1.5 GHz of spectrum can be used for downstream DOCSIS 3.1 channels. At 10 bits per Hertz that is more than 15 Gbps of total capacity.

    A more detailed discussion can be found here.

  • What is Nielsen’s Law?

    The telecommunications industry typically uses Nielsen’s Law of Internet Bandwidth to represent historical broadband Internet speeds and to forecast future broadband Internet speeds. Mr. Nielsen predicted many years ago the high-end user’s download connection speed grows by approximately 50% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). This prediction has largely held true over the past 35 years (1983-2018).

  • How does cable relate to 5G?

    5G wireless networks will require tight integration with high-performing fixed broadband networks to offer high-capacity, low latency mobile services. 5G will also utilize spectrum bands that are higher in frequency than has been typical for mobile services to date. For reasons of wireless physics and consumer demand, 5G will utilize a small cell network architecture, with localized radio access points and abundant backhaul. Cable’s broadband networks therefore complement and enable 5G services. More information can be found here.

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