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Events

CableLabs Hosting a Free Full Duplex DOCSIS® Technology Seminar

Doug Jones
Principal Architect

Mar 13, 2018

CableLabs is hosting a free Full Duplex (FDX) DOCSIS® technology seminar April 17–18, 2018 that will be attended by both cable operators and DOCSIS suppliers. The seminar will take place at a private events center to provide attendees with a comfortable and professional setting to learn all about Full Duplex DOCSIS technology.

Scheduled speakers will be technologists who developed the FDX DOCSIS specifications. Most have been involved with DOCSIS technology since the beginning, all are accomplished speakers who possess a wealth of knowledge to share not only about FDX DOCSIS but also about how FDX DOCSIS integrates into the family of DOCSIS generations.

FDX DOCSIS 3.1 technology allows cable operators to offer symmetric gigabit-speed data services over their existing Hybrid Fiber/Coax (HFC) networks, building on the core DOCSIS 3.1 orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM)/orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) technology. This additional set of features significantly increases upstream capacity and allows for the same spectrum to be simultaneously used for both downstream and upstream.

The technology seminar will cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • The physical layer: The physical layer topic includes how both OFDM and OFDMA have been extended to allow full duplex operation. This also includes how FDX DOCSIS fits into the channel plan, and how the system is expected to operate.
  • The Media Access Control (MAC) layer: This topic includes both how the cable modem termination system (CMTS) manages the full duplex spectrum and how today’s FDX modems initialize and communicate with the CMTS for full duplex operation.
  • Link Budgets and System Performance: This topic will discuss how to manage both signal levels and loss throughout the system in order to maintain peak operating performance.
  • FDX DOCSIS support of existing DOCSIS modems: This topic concerns how FDX DOCSIS modems will be tested for backward compatibility with earlier versions of DOCSIS modems; they will all operate on the same cable plant with no need to upgrade older modems.
  • Fiber Node changes: What will change in the Fiber Node, which now supports a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) solution to distribute part (or all) of the CMTS to the fiber node?
  • Node+0 Tips: These tips and considerations will focus on Node+0 (passive coax) plant construction to support FDX DOCSIS.

The technology seminar has been designed to foster interactive discussion with the audience. FDX DOCSIS is an extension of the DOCSIS 3.1 technology and now involves the HFC network to create a system that offers symmetric capacity. Presentations will offer critical insights into these aspects of the architecture and technology. Attendees will come away with a greater appreciation and understanding of FDX DOCSIS’s underlying mechanisms.

Seminar Details

The FDX DOCSIS technology seminar is free to attend and is open to all CableLabs members and DOCSIS NDA suppliers. The audience is intended to be composed of technology leaders involved with the early deployments of DOCSIS, including not only the DOCSIS engineers but also experts in outside plant and construction as FDX DOCSIS uses a Node+0 HFC network.

This technology seminar overlaps with an FDX DOCSIS interop being held at CableLabs the week of April 16. All CableLabs members and suppliers participating in the interop have the opportunity to tour the interop and witness FDX DOCSIS technology in operation, viewing—for perhaps the first time—the same spectrum carrying simultaneous upstream and downstream traffic.

With the CableLabs membership spanning five continents, the seminar will provide a unique opportunity for networking, as well as connecting or reconnecting with colleagues involved with the introduction of new DOCSIS technology. The seminar will offer a diverse set of deployment scenarios, and the discussions will include how FDX DOCSIS can support the needs of cable operators.


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Technology

Introduction to Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM): The Importance of Broadband

Doug Jones
Principal Architect

Aug 24, 2017

This is the introduction for our upcoming series on Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM).

The advent of the Internet has had a profound impact on American life. Broadband is a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and a better way of life. The internet is enabling entire new industries and unlocking vast new possibilities for existing ones. It is changing how we educate children, deliver health care, manage energy, ensure public safety, engage government and access, organize and disseminate knowledge.

There is a lot riding on broadband service which places a focus on customer service; to create both a faster and more reliable broadband experience that delight customers. Recent technological advancements in systems and solutions, as well as agile development, have enabled new cloud-based tools to enhance customer experience.

Over the past decade, CableLabs has been inventing and refining tools to improve the experience of broadband. CableLabs is providing both specifications and reference designs to interested parties to improve how customers experience their broadband service. Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM) is one of these innovations.

What is Proactive Network Maintenance and Why Should You Care?

Proactive network maintenance (PNM) is a revolutionary philosophy. Unlike predictive, or preventive maintenance, proactive maintenance depends on a constant and rigorous inspection of the network to look for the causes of a failure, before that failure occurs, and not treating network failures as routine or normal. PNM is about detecting impending failure conditions followed by remediation before problems become evident to users.

In 2008 the first instantiation of PNM was pioneered at CableLabs. This powerful innovation used information available in each cable modem and mathematically analyzed it to identify impairments in the coax portion of the cable network. From this time forward, every cable modem in the network is a troubleshooting device and could be used as a preventive diagnostic tool.

This is important when trying to track down transient issues related to the time of day, temperature, and other environmental variables, which can play a huge role in the performance of the cable system. With transient issues, it is important to have sensors continually monitoring the network. Since then, with improvements in technology, more sophisticated tools have been added giving operators unprecedented amounts of information about the state of the network.

Problems are solved quickly and efficiently because we can pinpoint where the problems are. Technicians like PNM because they become empowered to find and fix issues. An impairment originating from within a customer’s home can be dispatched to a service technician. While impairments originating on the cable plant itself can be dispatched to line technicians. Customer service agents also like the tools because they create actionable service requests. Lastly, impairments that can be attributed to headend alignment issues can be routed to a headend technician. All of this can be done before the customer is even aware there is a problem!

So, what does CableLabs have to do with all this?

The PNM project continues to innovate. Because of the success of PNM for the cable network, capabilities have been added to investigate in-home coax, WiFi and soon fiber optic networks.   Monitoring is key, and by using powerful cloud-based predictive algorithms and analytics, networks can be monitored 24 x 7 to provide insights, follow trends and detect important clues with the goal to identify, diagnose and fix issues before customers notice any impact.

CableLabs provides a toolkit of technical capabilities and reference designs that interested parties can use to create and customize tools fitting specific business needs. Operators can get started with reference designs, build expertise and their own solutions, and integrate the tools into their own systems. In addition, suppliers have licensed the technology and are creating a turn-key solution that operators can choose to work with.

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In my upcoming series, I will cover DOCSIS PNM, MoCA PNM, Optical PNM, Common Collection Framework and explore in greater depth how PNM enhances the customer experience. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to find out more.

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