CableLabs, the cable industry’s research and development lab, has promised to build technologies and specifications for the 10G network, which will deliver internet speeds 10 times faster than today’s networks and 100 times faster than what most consumers currently experience.
The 10G journey already began in 2019; since then, CableLabs and its members have worked together to create and introduce technologies that serve as building blocks for the foundation of a 10G network. In 2020 alone, CableLabs reached numerous milestones on the path to 10G, including Intelligent Wireless Network Steering (IWiNS), the launch of DOCSIS 4.0 technology, and additional innovations. Every one of these initiatives will play a significant role in building faster, more secure, and reliable networks in the future.
As data demands increase, operators are considering increasing capacity on their existing optical access network. To help operators better meet that demand, CableLabs recently published its first set of specifications for a new device, called the Coherent Termination Device, that enables operators to take advantage of coherent optics technologies in fiber-limited access networks. When teamed with wavelength-division multiplexing in the optical access network, the coherent optics technology enables existing fiber assets to carry a much higher number of bits per second.
CableLabs’ DOCSIS 4.0 technology supports up to 10 Gbps downstream capacity and up to 6 Gbps upstream capacity, allowing for widespread multigigabit symmetric services over cable’s hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks.
In 2021, CableLabs member Comcast successfully transmitted 4 gigabits-per-second upload and download speeds simultaneously in a live lab test with full-duplex (FDX) DOCSIS 4 system-on-chip (SoC) devices. Comcast also completed a successful test of a complete 10G connection using a DOCSIS 4-based virtualized cable modem termination system (vCMTS).
Charter Communications recently demonstrated greater than 8.5 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream on the HFC cable plant. CableLabs member, Armstrong, took it one step further. The company launched a 10-gigabit fiber-optic network in Medina, Ohio, providing 10G access to more than 3000 businesses and residences in the area.
“With faster symmetrical speeds, lower latency, enhanced reliability, and improved security, the emerging 10G network will truly power the next generation of innovation,” said Phil McKinney, CableLabs president, and CEO.
To continue innovation momentum, CableLabs has launched the 10G Challenge to accelerate the work of innovators, startups, students, and entrepreneurs in their development of applications for the 10G network. With total prizes of more than $300,000, the 10G Challenge is designed to inspire innovators to leverage the emerging 10G network. Six winners will be chosen, and the Grand Prize Winner and category winners will have the opportunity to present their technologies at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2022.
“While we don’t know what the future holds, we do know that the internet will play a vital role in shaping it,” continued McKinney. “As our everyday lives become increasingly digitized, reliability, security, speed, and latency take on increased importance. The immersive and interactive experiences the 10G platform will unlock depending on these innovations to create a better future for humanity.”