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DOCSIS 3.1 – A New Generation of Cable Technology

DOCSIS 3.1 technology will enable a new generation of cable services and help operators continue to meet consumer demand for high-speed connections and sophisticated applications, positioning them to be the providers of choice in their markets.

In late October 2013, CableLabs announced the availability of the DOCSIS 3.1 PHY (physical layer) and MULPI (MAC and Upper Layer Protocol) specifications.  The specifications represent the combined work of a large consortium of cable industry stakeholders led by CableLabs.  Their publication allows component vendors and device vendors to move forward with the design of new DOCSIS 3.1 based products.

The deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 solutions will provide significant new value for cable operators and consumers of broadband services including:

  • Speed: Support for up to 10 Gbps downstream and up to 1 Gbps upstream network capacity.
  • Quality of Experience: Utilizes Active Queue Management to significantly reduce network delay as data traffic grows in the home network, dramatically improving responsiveness for applications such as online gaming.
  • Higher Capacity on Existing Networks: Enables a significant increase in network capacity with the ability to transmit up to 50 percent more data over the same spectrum, on existing HFC networks.
  • Energy Efficiency: Enhancements to the DOCSIS protocols will increase cable modem energy efficiency.

As an evolution of DOCSIS technology, DOCSIS 3.1 will provide a flexible migration for cable operators, with the ability for DOCSIS 3.1 modems to co-exist with older versions and build on top of the previously deployed capacity. The higher efficiency of DOCSIS 3.1 also enables significant cost per bit reductions relative to DOCSIS 3.0 solutions.

In partnership with global members, CableLabs has provided a unified DOCSIS specification incorporating the features and technologies required by North American and European operators with anticipated adoption by Asian operators. This new global platform will support the development and roll out of innovative and competitive market solutions that can scale across cable operators worldwide.

DOCSIS 3.1 Specifications


Also download the DOCSIS3.1 Pocket Guide (PDF, 3MB)