Cable Industry Formalizes DOCSIS Modem Certification Plan
Louisville, Colorado, November 17, 1997—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) and its members have established a formal path of certification for cable modem equipment suppliers to obtain an "interoperability seal" for their high-speed data delivery devices based on the MCNS/DOCSIS specification.
This certification process would provide cable modem equipment suppliers with a fast, market-oriented method for attaining cable industry acknowledgment of compliance with the cable Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS). DOCSIS defines interface requirements for cable modems involved in high-speed data distribution over a cable television network.
The plan's central element is a cable operator staffed Certification Board that would control the issuance of an "interoperability seal" and compliance with the DOCSIS process. The seal is meant to provide a purchasing cable operator with a way for that operator to be confident that the modem equipment to be purchased is compliant with the specification, and that the equipment interoperates with other DOCSIS products made by other vendors.
"We have had tremendous support from the cable modem supplier community through the DOCSIS program," said Dr. Richard R. Green. "We fully expect that cooperation to be amplified as we near the successful resolution of compliance and interoperability issues and start to see volume shipping of first generation, field-grade DOCSIS equipment."
David Fellows, MediaOne chief technology officer, said that technology verification, certification, field evaluation and successful commercialization "all together are key elements of assuring interoperability and compliance with DOCSIS. We have worked through the technology verification and the test procedures. Now, certification is the next critical step for our industry."
"A certification program is key to our current cable modem RFP effort. Before we procure MCNS modems, we must be assured of interoperability among selected vendors," said Susan Marshall, vice president of engineering and technical operations at TCI.NET.
Said Mario Vecchi, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Time Warner's Road Runner Group: "CableLabs has been the primary venue for identifying and resolving interoperability issues. The certification program is the next logical step in our industry's efforts to attain cable modem interoperability."
Before receiving the seal of interoperability, a cable modem supplier will: (1) Complete the CableLabs conformance checklist and submit it as an affidavit of DOCSIS conformance. (2) Successfully complete the CableLabs common test suite in their own laboratories to the satisfaction of an inspection team made up of cable operators and CableLabs staff. (3) Participate in interoperability testing with CableLabs each time certification is sought for a new or revised product.
CableLabs will provide suppliers with the conformance checklist, the system test suite, and opportunities for the suppliers to bring their DOCSIS products together under an open, interoperability-testing environment, such as the Western Show.
The web site http://www.cablemodem.com will be used to post updates on vendors who receive DOCSIS certification and are deemed to be compliant with the specification.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org, and www.opencable.com.
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