Charter has demonstrated speeds exceeding 8.5 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream on hybrid fiber coax infrastructure, according to a press release from Vecima Networks, which supplied the DOCSIS 4.0 system on a chip (SoC) for remote MACPHY device (RMD) and cable modems used in the demonstration.
The SoC conforms to the CableLabs DOCSIS 4.0 frequency division duplexing (FDD) standard, Vecima said.
“This provides proof that our network is capable of offering multi-gig speeds bi-directionally,” said Joe Godas, senior vice president of network engineering and technology for Charter, in the press release.
According to Vecima, the Charter demonstration “delivers a natural and evolutionary network upgrade leveraging existing skillsets” that involved “simply extending downstream and upstream to higher frequencies” to boost network capacity through the existing amplifier cascade.
A spokesperson for Vecima confirmed that the demonstration involved expanding the frequencies within the existing HFC plant to 1.8 GHz, an approach aimed at boosting bandwidth.
DOCSIS 4.0 Downstream and Upstream Speeds
Cable operators are exploring how to upgrade their networks to support higher speeds as there seems to be no end to growing demand for faster broadband. While some operators are making the major decision to switch to fiber broadband, many are looking to upgrade their existing HFC infrastructure.
DOCSIS 4.0 makes that possible and is an important element of many cable companies’ plans.
In April 2021, Comcast said it completed a lab test of a DOCSIS 4.0 full duplex SoC, achieving upstream and downstream throughput in excess of 4 Gbps bi-directionally.
Several months later, Cable One said it was plotting a course to 10 Gbps broadband involving reclaiming spectrum traditionally used for linear video transmission and upgrading its HFC infrastructure to 1.8 GHz.
According to CableLabs, the DOCSIS 4.0 standard is intended to support speeds up to 10 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream.
Updated with information from a Vecima spokesperson