Comcast has conducted a lab test in which a Broadcom system on a chip (SOC) cable modem delivered symmetric speeds faster than 4 Gbps. The lab test, which Comcast says is an industry’s first, used the DOCSIS 4.0 specification, which defines the cable industry’s 10G vision
The announcement is important for two parallel reasons. The upgrade to 10G networks will enable Comcast and other cable operators with similar initiatives to keep pace with fiber broadband operatros. DOCSIS 4.0 aims at symmetrical operations and would finally overcome the cable industry’s legacy challenge of limited upstream capacity.
“The great strength of our smart network design is that we are able to exceed our customers’ demands today, even as we continuously evolve to meet the needs of the future,” said Charlie Herrin, Comcast Cable’s President of Technology of Product and Experience in a press release. “As our 10G journey continues to accelerate, customers will reap the benefits of ever-increasing security, reliability, and speed.”
The modem test focused on a Broadcom DOCSIS 4.0 FDX SoC paired with two cable modem chips. These connected over a lab-based hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network to the vCMTS operating in DOCSIS 4.0 mode.
Comcast said that this was the first complete network connection of all the DOCSIS 4.0 components required for deployment. The symmetrical speeds achieved were greater than 4 Gbps. Speeds are expected to accelerate as the 10G architecture, which is being championed by CableLabs, is refined.
Other MSOs also are driving toward DOCSIS 4.0. Last week, Charter demonstrated speeds exceeding 8.5 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream on HFC infrastructure. Vecima networks, which reported the news, supplied the DOCSIS 4.0 SoC.
In mid-November of last year, Cable One said that it is upgrading its infrastructure in advance of an upgrade to DOCSIS 4.0-based 10G service.