CableLabs® Certifies 3 Plug-and-Play Modems for First Time; Home Networking Device Also Certified
Louisville, Colorado, March 9, 2000—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) announced Thursday it had awarded CableLabs Certified™ status to high-speed Internet access devices from 10 companies. Included in this group, certified for the first time, are universal serial bus (USB) modems that can be plugged into the computer without the necessity of opening up the computer case. This represents the largest number of products ever certified in a single certification wave.
Motorola, Dassault, and TurboComm received certification for the first time. Arris Interactive, Askey Computer Corp., Com21, Thomson Consumer Electronics, Terayon Communications, and Toshiba America Information Systems had new products certified. Re-certification status was given to products from 3Com and Terayon. These devices have new, improved features that enable wider distribution of lower cost cable modems.
Three of the companies—Arris, Motorola, and Thomson—had modems certified that link to computers using the universal serial bus (USB) connector. This is significant because it allows consumers to plug an always-connected cable modem into their computer�s USB connection without requiring a separate Ethernet card to be installed in their computer.
In addition, another Motorola device that was certified contains a connection that adheres to the Home Phone Networking Alliance (HomePNA) standards. This means that now cable operators have a data over cable service interface specification (DOCSIS)-compliant device that also meets industry standards for in-home networking.
"These breakthroughs on cable modem USB technology culminate years of close cooperation with the PC industry and are critically important to our industry as we establish our leadership in high-speed Internet services," said CableLabs Chairman Brian L. Roberts, president of Comcast Corporation. "Sales of USB-equipped PCs are booming. The ease of a USB/modem connection means more cable customers can enjoy high-speed technology with less hassle and reduced installation times."
With the HomePNA technology, "Cable consumers� home phone lines, greatly enhanced by cable technology, may carry cable data services everywhere in the home, without rewiring, over their existing house phone wiring" said David Bukovinsky, CableLabs Vice President of Broadband Services & Technology.
"This advance also shows that suppliers are able to innovate and enhance the functionality of cable modems and our certification program is keeping pace with new products and functions, all of which advantage the consumer," said Dr. Richard R. Green, president and CEO of CableLabs.
Certified modems are identifiable by a "CableLabs® Certified™" seal. This seal informs consumers and cable operators that a modem complies with the CableLabs� cable modem specification. It also assures that it will communicate (interoperate) with qualified cable system headends, which soon will be deployed worldwide.
There are numerous different regional deployments by cable operators on their broadband networks using cable modem products from the more than one dozen companies producing CableLabs® Certified™ cable modems. The cable industry has created a complete retail certification standard in its data modem program from a standing start four years ago.
A Certification Review Committee, comprised of representatives of CableLabs member companies, grants certification status to DOCSIS-compliant modems, and qualified status to headend equipment, based on lab tests completed by CableLabs as well as on field data.
Cable modems are used to provide high-speed Internet and data access over cable�s broadband networks. Cable modems are always connected and, unlike telephone industry modems, do not require re-dialing to a service provider. In addition, because the connection is via two-way cable, consumers do not tie up their telephone line for Internet surfing when using a cable modem. Certified cable modems can coexist in cable systems with existing, proprietary cable modems.
Manufacturers who receive CableLabs certification for their high-speed cable modems have successfully completed an extensive series of interoperability tests supported by CableLabs membership. Modems are tested against CableLabs-qualified headend equipment supplied by different manufacturers.
As part of the certification test process, suppliers are asked to work in CableLabs facilities in pre-market, pre-competitive testing and evaluation in order to prove their compliance with the industry-supported program and technology. Additionally, suppliers complete self-testing of their products at their own facilities prior to submission to CableLabs.
CableLabs certification focuses on how well suppliers� cable modem and headend equipment adhere to CableLabs-defined interface specifications. The existing DOCSIS cable modem architecture is enriched with high-speed data capability of up to 38 million bits per second throughput per standard cable channel, with the flexibility of enabling each broadband service provider to customize multiple service tiers. In addition to the unprecedented speed, cable modems also offer ease of installation, robust reliability, and data encryption of all information conveyed by the certified modems.
The effort has achieved widespread cable and vendor consensus on a series of definitions of key interconnection points in a cable data distribution network. It also has achieved North American (by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers) and international (by the International Telecommunications Union) standardization using key elements of DOCSIS.
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.
CableLabs® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. Other CableLabs marks are listed at http://www.cablelabs.com/certqual/trademarks. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.