CableLabs Certifies First ‘Wideband’ Modems

CableLabs announced Friday it has certified six “wideband” DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems – the first consumer premises equipment approved for the specification that can deliver downloads of 100 Megabits per second or higher – as well as three more headend systems.

CableLabs granted certification status for DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems to Ambit, Arris Group, Cisco Systems, Motorola for two modems, and SMC Networks.

“We have now achieved successful certification testing for a system of very high-speed cable data products,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who’s also chairman of CableLabs, said in a prepared statement. “This is a great accomplishment, ensuring that cable customers will continue to have access to the fastest Internet service available, along with access to more advanced service offerings.”

The consortium also awarded “full” qualification status for cable modem termination systems (CMTSs) to Casa Systems for two devices -- representing the first headend gear to complete compliance with all requirements of the DOCSIS 3.0 spec. Motorola’s CMTS received the lowest-level bronze qualification, which indicates it supports basic features of DOCSIS 3.0, including downstream channel bonding.

Comcast was the first U.S. operator to announce a commercial deployment of DOCSIS 3.0, last month in Minneapolis/St. Paul. 

The first DOCSIS 3.0 CMTSs were certified in December, while the cable modems submitted for testing didn't qualify in the initial certification waves.

DOCSIS 3.0 provides higher data rates through channel bonding in both the upstream and downstream directions. The spec is backward-compatible with all existing DOCSIS products.