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CableLabs Moves Ahead On DOCSIS 3.1

CableLabs’ DOCSIS 3.1 project -- which is expected to provide a path for cable operators to deliver upwards of 10 Gigabits per second downstream -- will have its first public airing during a special discussion panel at the SCTE’s Cable-Tec Expo 2012 this month.

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers and CableLabs are jointly presenting the session as part of a “coordinated relationship” between them, the organizations said. The 90-minute “DOCSIS 3.1 Specification and Standard Development” panel discussion will include network technologists from CableLabs and MSOs and will provide an overview of network preparedness and training from SCTE with respect to DOCSIS 3.1.

DOCSIS 3.1 will likely incorporate suggestions in “DOCSIS NG” (for "next generation"), a white paper presented at the 2012 Cable Show in May by Arris Group, Cisco Systems, Motorola Mobility and Intel. The vendors proposed changes to allow as much as 10 Gbps of bandwidth downstream and perhaps 2 Gbps up, while preserving existing provisioning systems and the core architecture of DOCSIS.

“DOCSIS 3.1 specification development is a significant milestone on the industry’s road map to next-generation services,” CableLabs chief technology officer Ralph Brown said in a statement. “Our SCTE Cable-Tec Expo panel will identify the motivations, requirements and key technology building blocks under development with the collaboration of the vendor community.  DOCSIS 3.1 solutions will provide both residential and commercial cable customers with faster data rates -- both upstream and downstream -- that support increasingly compelling broadband services.”

The panel at Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando, Fla., is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Orange County Convention Center.

The session will be moderated by Dan Rice, CableLabs’ vice president of access network technologies. Speakers are set to include: Jeff Finkelstein, Cox Communications senior director of network architecture; Howard Pfeffer, Time Warner Cable senior vice president, Broadband Engineering and Technology; Jorge Salinger, Comcast vice president of access architecture; and Matt Schmitt, director of DOCSIS specifications for CableLabs.

Following the panel, SCTE CTO Daniel Howard will present an update on SCTE’s plans to develop training and best practices that can speed the deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 technologies in current networks. “The faster new technologies can come to market, the sharper cable’s competitive edge will be,” Howard said.

In addition to the DOCSIS 3.1 session, CableLabs and SCTE are also teaming for an opening general session discussion between CableLabs president and CEO Phil McKinney and SCTE president and CEO Mark Dzuban. They will be joined on stage by K. Dane Snowden, chief of staff of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.