Fatter pipe in store for Cable Users

CableLabs has announced that it is in the process of finalising and certifing a new version of DOSSIS, the technology protocol cable operators use to deliver high-speed Net access using cable modems.

DOCSIS 2.0 (sexy name ain't it) gives a potentially speed improvement of up to triple the existing speed. Utilising new techniques, it is able to pump data up to triple the speed over existing cable lines, but don't expect to see new modems adhering to the new standard for more than a year.

In technical terms, DOCSIS uses A-TDMA (advanced frequency agile time division multiple access) and S-CDMA (synchronous code division multiple access) to accomplish the gain in speed.

With the announcement, stock prices of Terayon Communications (a maker of cable equipment) soared by more than 50% to close at $6.30. Terayon will make a chipset which will support the new standard, having only previously made consumer cable modems and the high-end CMTS (cable modem termination system) equipment cable operators install.

For consumers, the upgrade could mean a host of new services, with additional tiered pricing plans potentially on the horizon. The increase in speed could spawn bigger downstream and upstream links with current upstream limitations being set by many cable companies at 128kbps and above, not unlike downstream speeds where some cable operators offer up to 2mbps.

The new standard could more data to be sent at higher speeds, a requirement for for high-end online video game players and necessary for new services such as Internet-based phone calls, videoconferencing and other future interactive applications.

Just don't expect this any time soon, as with DOCSIS 1.1 (which was approved in 1999), there appears to be no equipment today certified by CableLabs compliant with the earlier version of the specification.

News source: CNET News

View: Terayon Press Release - CableLabs Selects S-CDMA & A-TDMA for Inclusion in new Cable Modem Specification

View: CableLabs Press Release - Creates Advanced Modem Spec to Enable 30 Mbps in Upstream

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