What is DOCSIS 3.1 technology?
Officially released by CableLabs in 2013, the DOCSIS 3.1 specifications are the current industry standard for providing high-quality internet access over hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks. With this release, cable high-speed data can now reach download speeds of up to 10 Gbps (gigabits per second), enabling a wide variety of online experiences and tools that have become a part of our daily routines, such as 4K video streaming, video conferencing and multi-player online gaming. As impressive as this may sound, it’s only a pit stop in the race toward 10G—the multi-gigabit super network of tomorrow.
Why do we need DOCSIS® 3.1?
In today’s world, internet access has become a necessity, almost as important as clean water and air. Thanks to DOCSIS technologies, cable companies are now able to deliver multi-gigabit high-speed broadband internet to over 90% of U.S. homes, reaching downstream data speeds of 10Gbps and upstream speeds of up to 1Gbps. The DOCSIS® 3.1 specification release also increases the capacity of existing HFC networks by over 50 percent and greatly reduces latency. This means you can connect more devices and enjoy richer, ultra-high definition digital experiences.
What problems are we solving?
As virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and other ultra-high-definition, real-time applications become more mainstream over the next decade, our cable networks must meet the bandwidth, speed and latency requirements needed to support those applications. Continued improvements to the DOCSIS standard will ensure that cable technology stays ahead of the innovation curve. This means that all our customers—from avid power gamers to casual users—have access to fast, reliable cable internet service that meets their everyday needs for years to come.
Ramping up to 10G and beyond
The DOCSIS 3.1 release included the latest and greatest digital communication technologies such as Low-Density Parity-Check encoding and very high modulation orders, as well as more than 1 GHz of usable spectrum, that led to a significant increase in network speed and capacity. We haven’t lost any momentum since then, building on top of our existing DOCSIS technologies to ramp up to 10G and beyond in the next few years.
Reducing Network Delays
DOCSIS 3.1 technology also uses something called Active Queue Management, a technology that significantly reduces delays, commonly known as latency, and dramatically improves responsiveness for latency-sensitive applications such as online gaming and video chats. This means less pixilation, freezing and other annoying interruptions.
Increasing Upstream Speeds
Higher upstream capacity enables a better, more seamless real-time communication experience via chat or video and is necessary to power next-generation technologies like light field holodecks, video walls and more. With DOCSIS 3.1 technology, we’ve already bumped upstream speeds to 1Gbps and are planning to increase it even more. 10G networks will boast symmetrical downstream and upstream speeds of 10Gbps.
Boosting Energy Efficiency
As networks continue to grow, both in terms of bandwidth capacity and physical infrastructure, they will require more resources and power to function. DOCSIS 3.1 modems use advanced energy management protocols making them much more energy efficient than DOCISIS 3.0 modems. It’s a win-win for network operators and the planet.