Cable Data Interface Specification Process is Progressing
Los Angeles, CA, April 29, 1996—The cable data services specification process is progressing. The first set of interface specifications has been issued to vendors for review, and work on the next two phases is continuing.
The cable industry is very interested in getting contributions and comments on phases two and three from a wide variety of equipment suppliers. Interested parties should look at http://www.cablemodem.com for more information and guidance on the interface process.
In the meantime, while work on the specifications is continuing, cable operators are aggressively deploying first-generation cable modems that are superior to existing telephone modem technology.
The specification process involves MCNS Holdings, which includes Tele-Communications Inc., Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cox Communications, as well as CableLabs, Rogers Cablesystems and Continental Cablevision. They are seeking to coordinate with the many equipment suppliers interested in manufacturing cable modems in order to achieve consensus on specifying cable data network interconnections.
Once interface specs are established, then cable operators expect to purchase devices that comply with these specifications. Also, in time, consumers may purchase cable modems at retail outlets. It is the intention of the cable operators and CableLabs to present completed interface specifications to recognized standards-setting bodies for adoption as international standards.
The cable data services interface process was announced in late November at the Western Cable Show. Since then, the work has been broken into three phases, each of which involves a set of interconnections, or interfaces, in a cable data delivery process.
The proposed interfaces in the first phase—which involves the connections between the cable modem and the computer as well as the cable headend to the wide area network—were released to the equipment suppliers for comment on April 15.
The proposed phase two specifications—for data over cable system operations support systems and for the interface for cable modem return using telephone lines—will be available for equipment suppliers' comment in the second quarter.
To be defined in phase three are specifications for security management, the downstream RF transmissions, upstream RF, and the cable modem to RF connection. Establishing these specifications is contingent upon cable operators conducting field performance trials; proposed specifications would be released as soon as possible after that testing.
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