2020 Progress Update: The 10G Platform

10G Update

Originally posted on 10GPlatform.com

The global technology community is about to descend on Las Vegas next week for CES 2020 and one common element of just about every device, service and technology that will be featured is how connectivity – and increasing bandwidth – are powering a whole range of immersive consumer experiences. This trend isn’t surprising, new or groundbreaking but underscores the need for powerful networks to keep up with our digital demands.

In anticipation of this growing demand for more bandwidth and uninterrupted connectivity, the broadband industry led by NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, CableLabs, SCTE•ISBE and Cable Europe (now GIGAEurope) came together in January 2019 to announce our vision to deliver the technology platform of the future, called 10G. The “G” in 10G stands for gigabit, and 10G means that the cable broadband providers will be delivering speeds of 10 gigabits per second to homes in U.S. and around the globe in the coming years.

But 10G means more than blazing speeds – lower latency, higher reliability and better security are also built into the network. This powerful combination will enable next-generation technologies and applications of the future, from super high-definition streaming and gaming to holodecks and light field displays, 360° video, video walls for work and AR applications that will help our children learn and collaborate and all the demands of an IoT future. The 10G Platform will enable not only wired networks, but also wireless, mobile, and fixed networks to provide a ubiquitous and seamless converged communication platform for the future.

While 10 gigabit speeds may seem like a far-flung dream, the roadmap to accomplishing this feat has been in place for years with fiber rich broadband networks that already provide 1 gigabit speeds to 80% of U.S. homes. By upgrading these existing networks with a combination of new hardware, software and other engineering techniques, the migration to 10G is both efficient and doesn’t require a massive and protracted network overhaul.

Progress towards 10G is well underway in the lab as technologists at CableLabs have passed some major milestones over the past year, while providers have been making incredible progress testing and implementing these developments across the networks. The most exciting developments of 2019 include:

  • The rapid development of the DOCSIS 4.0 spec, the first major update to the DOCSIS specification in six years. This new specification integrates both full duplex and extended spectrum capabilities to give operators flexibility in how to increase network capacity to deliver on the promise of symmetric multi-gigabit speeds over hybrid fiber coax networks.
  • The release of a new 200 Gbps Point-to-Point Coherent Optics specification, a critical component for enabling our interconnected future, designed to leverage the next generation of silicon and resulting networking equipment expected to arrive by 2020. These new devices are set to double the capacity of the cable access network – utilizing existing fiber – enabling the enhanced services and experiences promised as a part of the 10G future.
  • The introduction of Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD) into the DOCSIS specification and the announcement of Low Latency Xhaul (LLX). By decreasing latency to just 1ms for several applications, LLD and LLX decrease load times, increase the responsiveness of online gaming, provide a smoother video chat experience, and enable high performance convergence of fixed and mobile networks by reducing latency between the two.
  • The release of Dual Channel Wi-Fi, which eases network congestion, enabling a 10G reliable Wi-Fi connection. By providing one or more channels for downstream-only data, this technology enables a myriad of connected experiences, as more devices can be connected to the network at once without slowing down network traffic. This means that different family members can stream, game and browse the Internet at the same time with each one experiencing a high-quality user experience without getting in each other’s way.

For a deeper dive into these technological advancements and several others that are driving the industry closer towards the 10G future, check out this CableLabs update.

“In just one year, our industry has come together to make important progress on delivering a technology platform that will power our digital experiences and imaginations for years to come,” said Michael Powell, President & CEO of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association. “2020 will be another significant year as we continue to develop and implement the technologies needed to deliver the 10G platform to consumers and businesses across the country.”

With 10G field trials beginning later this year, soon 10G will be changing the way we live, learn, work, and play by reinventing the role technology plays in our everyday lives.