Cable's remote PHY era is in the early phases, but Comcast has been taking heed of the lessons it has learned from the field as it prepares to scale up deployments that will lead to distributed access architectures and lay the groundwork for Full Duplex DOCSIS.
In a remote PHY scenario, "a short power outage in the node is a long power outage for a customer," Salinger said.
In traditional, non-remote PHY settings, when power is removed from a node for a few seconds, it could turn into a 30-second disruption of service as power is quickly restored. However, if power is removed for just one second in a newer remote PHY device (RPD), the service disruption can last about five minutes because the RPD must endure a lengthier reconfiguration process and also resynch with the servers when power is returned.
Salinger said Comcast has also learned that turning up a new line card or CCAP (Converged Cable Access Platform) device is a much more complicated process when the PHY is distributed out toward the node rather than back in the core.
"That process has to get optimized for remote PHY deployment," he said. He added later that getting techs trained up for this new architecture is another key challenge that will need to be addressed.
And they'll have to be addressed soon, as Comcast looks to start "scale deployments" of remote PHY by the end of this year.
Boost your understanding of cable's pioneering virtualization efforts, examine early trials and pilots and look at what comes next. You're invited to attend Light Reading's Virtualizing the Cable Architecture event, a free breakfast panel at SCTE/ISBE's Cable-Tec Expo on October 23 in Atlanta.
Comcast already has remote PHY equipment deployed for its initial trial locations that are already serving customers. The MSO isn't revealing the size and scope of that work. It's far from spanning Comcast's entire footprint, but the current phase of the deployment is "quite big," Salinger said.
While the anticipated benefits of remote PHY and Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) are wide-ranging, the reduction of headend space, power and cooling requirements was "the driver, in the end, that made us go as fast as possible and as deep into this development as we could," Salinger said.
Other benefits include improved maintenance of the outside plant, lower operational costs and a boost in overall network capacity (thanks to a boost in modulation and bit rates) as fiber is pulled deeper into the network.
The shift to remote PHY also fits into grander virtualization plans at Comcast that will cover elements such as the cable modem termination system, the video engine and the out-of-band engine (for legacy set-top box signaling).
"Our architecture is one that essentially changes everything," Salinger said.
For more about this topic and other opportunities and challenges ahead for remote PHY and DAA, please turn to the story posted at our sister site, Light Reading. (See As Remote PHY Nears, No Time to Spare.)
More than a half-million Irish residents expected to have fiber broadband by 2020. But Ireland's National Broadband Plan has not even begun — and government officials today postponed any agreement again.
In a new report and searchable database, Broadband Now discovered fiber is the is the least expensive technology powering subscribers' connections. But the poorest, most rural residents pay the most for connectivity, regardless of underlying infrastructure.
As Vice President of Global Healthcare at AT&T, Maria Lensing oversees the telecommunications operator's technology and professional services offerings across the spectrum of medical providers, from solo practitioners and walk-in clinics to giant hospital chains, medical-device vendors and consulting firms. Lensing also sees more interest from traditional service providers -- cable and telecom operators looking to expand or build relationships with their own medical communities, perhaps as an adjunct to smart-home successes or standalone.
Lensing, who took on this role almost a year ago in May 2018, oversees both the sales and technical teams responsible for developing growth initiatives for AT&T's Global Healthcare business -- including products, services and industry-specific solutions. She also very actively promotes business minority inclusion, education and female empowerment programs and has been recognized both within and outside AT&T. Some awards she's received include "Top 40 Under 40" and "Super Woman in Business" from the Memphis Business Journal.
Join Maria Lensing, VP of Global Healthcare at AT&T, on Tuesday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. PT, when she's the guest on BBWN Radio, hosted by Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana. Register now!
So far, the agenda includes a discussion of technologies such as fiber and 5G; defining the needs and solutions for a widely diverse range of customers; partnering for success in a typically slow-moving, budget-constrained market; learning and dispersing best practices from other verticals and within other business groups; promoting diversity and female empowerment when so many say they're doing so but so little has changed; and what she hopes to accomplish in another year in this role.
Register and post your questions for Maria on BBWN Radio's easy-to-use chat board. We will get to as many questions as possible. Please post questions before and during the broadcast. Once you've registered, you will be led to the chat board page. Talk to you on April 23!
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Just when you thought the answer to your next technology direction question was clear, the noise around multiple new technology options fills the Internet and airwaves. Multiple 5Gs are being deployed; there's CableLabs' 10G initiative; the ITU and IEEE are toiling around 50G PON – and we haven’t even talked about Wi-Fi6 yet! Is any of this real, do you have to pay attention or can you just let the dust settle and then decide?
Since waiting is often not the best option, let’s demystify technology options, their impact on your business, and how to prepare for whatever the future brings.
In this webinar, Service Providers will learn:
Current state of 5G and how it affects everyone, not only mobile network providers.
Latest technologies being developed and how they will benefit their networks and subscribers.
How to prepare their networks for the future – whatever it may hold.