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SP360: Service Provider

Think back to the year 1997. Back then, Bill Clinton had just begun his second Presidential term. Princess Diana’s funeral was watched by 1.5 billion people. Internet Explorer version 4 was new. The Hale-Bopp comet made its closest approach to Earth – and the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) was released publicly for the first time (March 1997), marking the beginning of the broadband revolution.

That’s why our John Chapman, a Cisco Fellow and one of the original contributors to the DOCSIS specification, chose to highlight the subject, during his March 20 keynote at the Light Reading Cable Next-Gen Broadband Strategies conference in Denver.

The highlights: By year-end 1997, some 10,000 DOCSIS-based cable modems were installed in Canada. At the time, services ran on a single carrier, for 40 Mbps downstream – spread across 20+ fiber nodes.

Now, 15 years later, a DOCSIS plant typically runs on four to eight carriers, to individual nodes – a 100-200x increase in capacity. On the services side, what was originally a high-speed Internet connection grew to support voice over IP, as well as DSG (DOCSIS set-top gateway.)

And the fun isn’t over yet! Watch for DOCSIS to support full-spectrum capacity, over time, as more operators transition more channels to IP. Consider: If all of the 158 downstream channels in a typical cable system were bonded in IP, the resultant carrying capacity would leapfrog to 5 Gbps downstream, and 1 Gbps upstream.

Topics like CCAP – the Cable Converged Access Platform – also featured into Chapman’s keynote, as a way to encapsulate CMTS and edge QAM features into one software-controlled box. Meaning more capabilities; less capital and operational expenditure.

To hear the DOCSIS story from John himself, click here.

Meanwhile:  What’s a birthday without a cake? Here, several of the original DOCSIS contributors gathered to blow out candles, sing a little, eat cake, and talk DOCSIS. Pictured (from left): Jack Burton, Cablevision Systems; Oleh Sniezko, Aurora Networks; John Chapman, Cisco; Bob Hunt; John Dickinson, Bright House Networks; Jorge Salinger, Comcast; and Jeff Finkelstein, Cox.

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2 Comments.


  1. Happy Birthday Docsis. Its glad to know in 15 years Docsis plant runs on about 8 carriers. Remebering 1997 was a massive development year, though I was too young alomost 5 years old but still remeber the Pentium 1 computer craze, at that time personal computers were not common and internet connectivity was rare in South Asia.

       0 likes

  2. Happy Birthday Mrs DOCSIS
    Remember when I knew this standard (2001)
    Long live the cable !

       0 likes

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