CableLabs® Announces Another Plug-and-Play Modem Certification
Four Certified; 3Com Re-certified
Louisville, Colorado, May 30, 2000—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) announced today that it has certified a half dozen additional modems after further testing conducted as part of its most recent certification wave. One of these modems is plug-and-play due to its universal serial bus (USB) connector. A total of seven companies� USB modems now have been certified.
Newly certified modem companies are ZyXel, NetGear, NetGame and GVC, which had its USB modem certified; 3Com was re-certified for two modems, one of which is designed for small office/home office applications. This brings the total number of companies that have certified cable modem products to 27, and the total number of models of certified product to 57.
USB connectivity is built into the majority of computers that are being shipped today. USB connectivity in a modem allows consumers to plug an always-connected cable modem directly into their computer�s USB connection without requiring a separate Ethernet card to be installed into their computer.
"These products performed satisfactorily in the certification wave, but there were certain test results we wanted to verify with additional testing," said Bill Kostka, Director, Broadband Services for CableLabs, and head of the cable modem initiative. "After further validation, our Certification Board agreed that these products performed at a level that earned certification status," he added.
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 CMTSs, which are being 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 Board, 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. Certification to this point has focused solely on DOCSIS 1.0 products. It is hoped that certification of DOCSIS 1.1 modems, which enables multimedia services including voice communications, will begin in August.
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 39 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 additional web sites at www.cablenet.org.
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.