NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Cable's Future Ready Network Accomplishes Another Tech Milestone on the Road to 10G

Cable's Future Ready Network Accomplishes Another Tech Milestone on the Road to 10G

speed concept

In a groundbreaking milestone demonstrating that cable’s broadband network is ready for whatever the future brings, Comcast announced last week that a new technology will enable it to deliver symmetrical upstream and downstream speeds greater than 4 Gbps over its hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) network. The result is a significant step forward in the cable industry’s 10G vision, a global initiative to deploy new technology that will dramatically increase both upload and download speeds and capacity over existing networks already available in hundreds of millions of homes.

Just over two years ago, the cable industry first announced the 10G initiative—a promise to deliver 10 gigabit speeds to consumer homes, and the industry has announced several milestones already on the 10G technology roadmap. The latest test result announced by Comcast was accomplished by utilizing a new Full Duplex DOCSIS system-on-chip device which is designed to deliver multigigabit symmetrical speeds over a cable broadband network. 

As the Comcast lab test revealed, cable broadband networks are fully capable of delivering ultra-fast internet speeds over existing networks while simultaneously continuing to build capacity for consumers' potential future needs. Today, cable ISPs already offer 1 gigabit speeds to 80% of all American homes and faster speeds are on the way, all without the need for massive digging and construction projects.

Along with this latest accomplishment in 2021, 2020 also experienced significant progress on the 10G roadmap. This included the field test of Mediacom's 10G Smart Home in Ames, Iowa which had over 70 internet-enabled devices connected, many of which are cutting-edge technologies requiring super-fast speeds and low latency. 

CableLabs, the industry’s R&D collaborative, also unveiled some new advances in increasing Wi-Fi performance, which is crucial for the optimal 10G in-home experience. CableLabs also released the Flexible MAC Architecture (FMA), which is part of the 10G suite of technologies that will be needed to achieve downstream speeds up to 10 Gbps and upstream speeds up to 6 Gbps. Then, CableLabs announced Intelligent Wireless Network Steering (IWiNS), a technology that will enable home internet traffic to seamlessly transition among different wireless networks (LTE, Wi-Fi, CBRS, etc.). IWiNS is another step towards achieving the seamless connectivity 10G is expected to provide as the technology delivers a more reliable and real-time optimized user experience.

As consumers’ technology and digital needs evolve, cable operators are constantly planning ahead to ensure that networks are always ready for whatever the future throws their way. This includes a devastating pandemic that caused statewide lockdowns and shifts throughout society. But cable ISPs showed their readiness to handle the unexpected over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic including unprecedented traffic surges. Cable networks have proven to be resilient time and time again for millions of people working and learning from home via the internet because ISPs have long future-proofed their networks to stay ahead of consumer's needs and demands.

The 10G network is another bold step in that direction.