CableLabs® Issues Specifications for DOCSIS 1.1 Modems
Advanced Features, Security
Louisville, Colorado, April 22, 1999—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs® ) has issued two new specifications that allow for advanced features and security in high-speed cable data modems. These new capabilities soon will be built into cable modems that may be sold at retail. Certification of those modems will begin in mid-2000.
The first new specification, known as DOCSIS 1.1, defines new functionality that allows cable operators to provide guaranteed bandwidth, i.e. quality of service (QoS), to cable modem customers.
The 1.1 specification is the foundation for PacketCable™, a CableLabs-managed project aimed at identifying, qualifying, and supporting Internet-based multimedia products over cable systems. The release of the DOCSIS 1.1 specification follows the release, on March 12, of the first of a series of PacketCable specifications. PacketCable-based products will enable new classes of services utilizing cable-based packet communication networks.
DOCSIS stands for Data over Cable Service Interface Specification and is the former name of the CableLabs Certified cable modem project, an effort that has resulted in high-speed modems being certified for retail sale. The functionality incorporated into DOCSIS 1.1 is compatible with earlier DOCSIS 1.0 cable modems and headend equipment.
The second new specification, known as Baseline Privacy Interface Plus (BPI+), further enhances the already-strong data privacy and service protection offered by the earlier DOCSIS 1.0 specifications. The new security specification strengthens service protection by incorporating digital-certificate-based authentication of cable modems and customers. BPI+'s enhanced service protection supports the offering of premium multicast services to customers.
"The cable industry has shown remarkable speed in attaining first a retail modem through DOCSIS 1.0, and now, the next level of technology for cable modems," said Dr. Richard R. Green, CableLabs president and CEO. "We will continue to evolve this technology in order to help our members deliver new services that will benefit consumers with added choice and new functionality," he added. Green credited CableLabs' Andrew Sundelin as being a key proponent of the DOCSIS 1.1 specification writing process inside CableLabs with the support of nine vendors.
"Interoperability testing, including creating test plans and procedures, will begin in April and will run through March of next year," said Rouzbeh Yassini, executive consultant to CableLabs and the head of the cable modem initiative. "We anticipate beginning certification waves for 1.1 in April 2000," Yassini added. He noted that DOCSIS 1.1 headend equipment also will be qualified on a similar schedule. DOCSIS 1.1 headends must support 1.0 and 1.1 modems and DOCSIS 1.1 modems must be able to act as a 1.0 modem when connected to a DOCSIS 1.0 headend.
To accomplish interoperability and certification for 1.1, while at the same time continuing to pursue additional certification of DOCSIS 1.0 modems, CableLabs is assembling a new team of 19 contributing engineers. Engineers from the following companies are participating: Askey, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, General Instrument, Motorola, Philips, 3Com, Panasonic, Digital Furnace, Thomson, Terayon, Toshiba, and Com21.
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 additional web sites at www.cablenet.org.
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