Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cable Companies Moving Fast With DOSCIS 3.0 Products and Services

There's been a lot of DOCSIS 3.0 activity recently as the cable companies move rapidly towards bandwidths of 100 Mbps and greater. In April 2007, CableLabs, the cable modem certification consortium, accelerated their certification plan time-line and we're now seeing certified products at deployable levels. Earlier time-lines did not have product reaching deployable levels until late 2008 or early 2009.

Key to this accelerated certification plan was CableLabs decision to "tier" feature availability for product manufactures with the following qualification levels:

Bronze Qualification: Supports IPv6 and Downstream Channel Bonding

Silver Qualification: Adds Advanced Encryption System (AES) and Upstream Channel Bonding

Full Qualification
: All DOCSIS 3.0 Features

This tiered level of certification is expected to be dropped in early 2009, when all cable modems will need to have "Full" qualification.

Today (a little over a year later) we're seeing nice results from the accelerated time-line. Here's a couple of quotes from a recent Cable Digital News interview with Time Warner Cable president and CEO Glenn Britt:

Time Warner Cable conducted some Wideband tests in Austin, Texas, last year, "and it works fine."

While 100 Mbit/s seems to be the early sought-after speed benchmark for DOCSIS 3.0, Britt said he's seen it deliver speeds up to 200 Mbit/s, albeit in a lab setting.

Britt also said Time Warner will begin testing Docsis 3.0 in New York "later this year" and roll out DOCSIS 3.0 more widely in 2009 and 2010, "in response to demand." We'll see if Time Warner accelerates the New York City roll-out in direct competition with Verizon's New York City FiOS roll-out.

Comcast is also moving fast with DOCSIS 3.0, having launched the service in the Minneapolis area and working to have as much as 20 percent of its footprint DOCSIS 3.0 ready by year's end.

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