CableLabs® Awards Industry ‘First’ With DOCSIS® 3.0 Qualification
Louisville, Colorado, December 19, 2007—In a major milestone for the cable industry, CableLabs has awarded qualification status for Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS®) 3.0. DOCSIS 3.0 specifications enable downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher and upstream data rates of 120 Mbps or higher.
Casa Systems received “silver” qualification while Arris and Cisco received “bronze” qualification for their cable modem termination systems (CMTS) headend gear. The announcement comes at the conclusion of the recent test wave in which the first products built based on the DOCSIS 3.0 specifications were formally evaluated.
The headends were tested under a tiered program that was created as a way to encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might. CableLabs also offered suppliers numerous informal interoperability events where vendors work together in CableLabs' facilities to test and evaluate their implementations of the specifications.
“This technological achievement is a great step for our industry,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corp., and Chairman of the CableLabs Board of Directors. “CableLabs rapid certification effort will enable companies to begin to develop products that will support the rapid deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 services in 2008.”
To achieve these higher data rates DOCSIS 3.0 describes a methodology for channel bonding in both the upstream and downstream directions. A minimum of four channels, each with throughput of 38 Mbps, is specified. DOCSIS 3.0 also incorporates support for the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). IPv6 is the next generation of the Internet Protocol and greatly expands the number of Internet addresses that cable operators may use, allowing them to provide consumers with more IP-based services. In addition, DOCSIS 3.0 is backward compatible with all existing DOCSIS products.
“Congratulations to all who have worked so hard to help our industry achieve this technological breakthrough assuring that the cable industry maintains its leadership in the delivery of high speed broadband services exceeding 100 Mbps,” said Glenn A. Britt, President and CEO of Time Warner Cable. “We intend to continue to push hard as broadband innovators on interactive video, digital voice and other multimedia applications and services. Working through CableLabs gives us a highly effective means of attaining this goal,” Britt added.
Said Cox Communications Inc. President Pat Esser: “This DOCSIS 3.0 specification is yet another example of how cable is continuing to advance the power of broadband. This technology ensures that our customers will have access to the fastest and most robust Internet service available and allows us to introduce a new generation of advanced service offerings to our customers.”
CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Richard R. Green said: “We appreciate the strong vendor community supporting the DOCSIS 3.0 program and we are genuinely proud of our highly professional, efficient and effective test program. In addition to the qualified equipment mentioned above we were very encouraged by the progress made toward certification of cable modems, particularly with the performance of the hardware."
The cable modem development part of DOCSIS 3.0 has been supported by a number of equipment manufacturers with special effort from Texas Instruments.
The three-tiered program for CMTS qualification waived some of the more long term DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS requirements. DOCSIS 3.0 modem testing was unchanged, with only one level of certification that is representative of compliance with the completed DOCSIS modem specification. DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS qualifications were Bronze, Silver and Full. Full DOCSIS 3.0 compliance ultimately will be the sole certification level for CMTS vendors since the two lower levels of qualification will be phased out as the full suite of criteria are made available by vendors.
Another key element of DOCSIS 3.0 is Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). This Internet addressing system is a critical tool for cable as it seeks to expand its triple play offerings and to extend into new service areas. IPv6 also will allow cable operators to effectively manage the proliferation of devices that are capturing consumer interest, including portable media players, cellular phones, gaming consoles, PDAs and others.
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 and www.ebif.tv.
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