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.