A Coder’s Announcement of the CableLabs C3 Platform for Collaborative Software Development

Arianne Hinds
Principal Architect, Video & Standards Strategy Research and Development

Mar 24, 2016

[highlighter line=0]

If ( the sight of software source code does not make you uncomfortable )
    * Then please continue to read the code below to get the story behind this blog.
    * If reading source code is not your “cup of tea”, then please find the main message
    * for this blog below, i.e. following the big ELSE statement.
    * Copyright:  2016 Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.

   enum {FALSE=0, TRUE=1} ;

   int cable-industry-embraces-open-source = TRUE ; 

   int number-of-active-C3-projects = 3 ; 

   while ( cable-industry-embraces-open-source ) do
      CableLabs stands up the C3 software development platform;

      If ( already-familiar-with-C3 == FALSE ) 
         enum essential-elements-of-C3 = { IT_INFRASTRUCTURE , 
                       ACCESS_CONTROL ,
                       OPEN_SOURCE_BEST_PRACTICES ,
                       CODE_REPOSITORIES , 
                       ISSUE_TRACKER , 
                       BUILD_TOOLS ,
                       VERIFICATION_TESTS ,
                       REVIEW_AND_CHECKIN_TOOLS ,
                       MODULAR_LICENSING ,
                       FLEXIBLE_GOVERNANCE_MODEL ,
                       IPR_MANAGEMENT } ;
         C3 is supported by CableLabs ;    
         C3 follows after successful Linux Foundation model ; 
         C3 is a platform for collaborative software development ;
         C3 is scalable to accommodate a large number of projects ;       
         C3 provides a project template charter for anyone to start a new project ;
         Projects can be truly “open” where access is open to anyone ; 
         Projects can also be “closed” where access to code (etc) is restricted ;
         Projects can migrate from C3 to other Open Source and Standards Bodies ;

      For ( int project-number=0; project-number<number-active-C3-projects; project-number++ )

         switch (project-number) {

         case 0:  /* Cisco OpenRPD project */
            RPD is Remote PHY Device ;
            Project seed code donated by CISCO ;
            Key cable industry vendors are participating ;
         case 1:  /* Proactive Network Maintenance */
            PNM tools help operators troubleshoot the network ;
            Network devices measure key diagnostic attributes ;
            Identify and isolate problems before they are customer impacting ;
         case 2:  /* TruView */
            TruView software characterizes cable plant signaling ;
            Project seed code supplied by Comcast and extended by CableLabs ;
            Advanced video diagnostic tools ;

            C3 has more than 3 projects now ;

      If ( (interested-in-learning-more || interested-in-starting-project) == TRUE )

         review project charter form at ;
         send email to ;
} ;
    * We assume that the plain text version of this story is easier for you to read.
    * The relevance of collaborative software development, including open source and  
    * community-source approaches, for the cable industry cannot be overestimated. 
    * Increasingly, collaboratively developed software is being deployed in cable  
    * products and services. And, the development tools that the industry uses to build  
    * those products and services often leverage open source implementations. The RDK  
    * is just one example that demonstrates the robust and powerful approach of sourcing  
    * the software development across an open or semi-open community (i.e. community  
    * source group) for the cable industry.  Other cross-industry organizations where 
    * the cable industry participates include the Open Platform for Network Function 
    * Virtualization  and the OpenDaylight Platform.  
    * So, what’s missing for the cable industry?  
    * ANSWER:  A platform where the cable industry (and beyond) can collectively  
    * collaborate around the development of tools and software assets relevant, 
    * but not limited, to cable.  
    * At its Winter Conference 2016, CableLabs announced the launch of the 
    * Common Code Community (C3) platform, including essential elements such as IT 
    * infrastructure, development tools, repositories, access control, recommended  
    * best practices, modular licensing, and outreach to other communities and standards. 
    * As of today, the C3 project hosts three projects:
    * 1.  OpenRPD – A software reference implementation supporting the Remote PHY
    *     Device architecture – a virtualization architectures used in distributed
    *     CCAP implementations.  Seeded with software developed and contributed by 
    *     Cisco, the project drives core router and remote PHY interoperability.
    * 2.  Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM) – A set of tools that reduce troubleshooting
    *     and problem resolution time by detecting and localizing network problems 
    *     before they impact the customer.   
    * 3.  TruView - Software seeded by Comcast and extended by CableLabs as a set 
    *     of tools to assist cable operators in the successful deployment of 2-way 
    *     infrastructure used to load and initialize settop boxes
    * Each project defines its own governance structure such as who is allowed 
    * to commit code, submit code, launch builds, define new code releases, and so on.
    * The C3 platform also provides a flexible license model where each project sets 
    * the licensing and IPR structures most appropriate for its goals and assets.
    * For more information on C3: you can send email to:



New Open Source Initiative at CableLabs

Karthik Sundaresan
Distinguished Technologist

Feb 10, 2016

Open source software continues to make solid inroads in the world of network technology. There are various open source industry efforts which are becoming de-facto standards that are being adopted by operators and equipment manufacturers (Linux, Apache, OpenStack, Docker etc). Open source leads to free and quick proliferation of good ideas. Collaboration tackles tough problems which may not be solved individually. The open source approach facilitates a rapid prototyping for new technologies and allows improvement on the most important features. It also allows communities to form around a common cause.

CableLabs is increasing its focus on game-changing innovations and accelerating the delivery of unique competitive advantages to the global cable industry with its CableLabs 2.0 initiative. As a part of this focus, CableLabs would like to announce a new major open/community source project for the cable industry. CableLabs and Cisco are initiating a new collaborative project called ‘OpenRPD’ to develop software which can be used by the industry to build a Remote PHY Device. Cisco will be contributing their Remote PHY interface software to this effort, which forms a baseline on which this project will build. (See Cisco's press release.)

Over the past year, CableLabs, along with our member and vendor community, has worked on the different Distributed CCAP Architectures including Remote PHY and Remote MAC-PHY Architectures. The Remote PHY technology allows for an integrated CCAP to be separated into two components: the CCAP Core and the Remote PHY Device (RPD). The RPD allows all the PHY layer components of a CCAP to be moved out as a separate device into the fiber node in the field.

Remote PHY is a big transition in the traditional access network architecture. To meet the deployment needs of the operators, it is imperative we move the ecosystem quickly. The OpenRPD software effort allows us to do this by enabling faster development of RPD products. We believe that open source software is becoming the new way to create specifications, the mantra now is to ‘write code’ not documents.
Word Cloud "Open Source"
A collaborative effort allows for greater reliability in software products, while offering a greater level of security, both of which are important to an RPD platform which will be out in the field. Developing a common code base for some of the basic RPD functions creates a software platform which will minimize interoperability issues between the CCAP-Core and the RPD. It enables companies to focus on their added value and accelerates time to market for a product. This creates a scenario in which everybody wins and the operator gets to deployment of technology faster.

We welcome all interested developers within the CableLabs community to participate in this project. If you would like to participate in the CableLabs OpenRPD Software initiative, please contact me.

May the source be with you.

Karthik Sundaresan is a Principal Architect at CableLabs responsible for the development and architecture of cable access network technologies. He is primarily involved in the DOCSIS family of technologies and their continued evolution.