Gigabit availability is arriving at US households at lightning speeds: in June 2018, 63% of housing units -- 74% of the cable broadband footprint -- have access to 1Gbp/s, up 7% in three months, according to a report published this month by CableLabs.
In March 2018, 56% of US housing units -- or 66% of the cable broadband footprint -- had gigabit service or faster from their local cable operator, CableLabs reported in September 2018. That's because providers are heavily investing in their infrastructures in order to empower consumers and businesses to tap into capabilities that gigabit service delivers, wrote Mark Walker, director of Technology Policy at CableLabs, in a blog on the organization's website.
"CableLabs and the cable industry are continuing to advance the capacity and performance in each segment of the cable broadband network to remain well-ahead of consumer demand," he wrote. "We are focused on developing innovative network technologies in the areas of coax (e.g., DOCSIS 3.1 and full duplex DOCSIS), fiber (e.g., coherent optics in the access network) and wireless (e.g., WiFi and 5G), as well as defining optimal network architectures to provide the necessary capacity and performance in each segment of the network for today's gigabit services and those anticipated in the future."
While DOCSIS traditionally has provided asymmetric service, users increasingly create content -- such as video and gaming -- that demands symmetrical streaming. The anticipated increase of uses including telemedicine and the arrival of 5G with its as-yet-unknown use cases is only expected to place more need for equal up- and down-stream speeds. That's where D3.1 is heading, according to CableLabs, which has completed the FDX DOCSIS specifications and predicts commercial availability of "conforming network equipment with the next calendar year," according to its Fall 2018 InformED Insights report.
In addition, CableLabs is focused on adapting coherent optical transmission, typically used in metro and long-haul fiber networks, for use in access networks. By using coherent optic technologies, service providers could increase the per-strand capacity in their access networks by orders of magnitude compared with today's optical access technologies, the industry group said. Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) -- which helps enable deployment of fiber deeper into cable networks -- and consumers' demand for ever-higher speeds are driving this need for more fiber capacity in the access network.
Likewise, mobile wireless back-haul, 5G and commercial services also spur on optical fiber's development. To address this, CableLabs released two specifications for point-to-point coherent optics earlier this year.
On the wireless front, CableLabs developed protocols for WiFi proactive network maintenance (WiFi PNM) and global standards for WiFi performance, data elements and residential WiFi mesh networks. Most CableLabs members also are mobile network operators, and CableLabs released an addition to the DOCSIS specification to enable HFC networks to more effectively provide mobile wireless backhaul services to support increased deployment of small cell architectures and, eventually, 5G, the group said.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
The lack of an accurate broadband map means states and counties are tackling this issue themselves – and sometimes finding big disparities in the data – before spending their residents' money on deploying infrastructure.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.