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Catching Up with Cisco’s John Chapman at Cable Congress 2013 This Week

jchapmanJohn Chapman, Engineering Fellow and CTO of Cisco System’s Cable Access Business Unit, is a pioneer in broadband communications, having helped to define and write the original DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Specification) spec — which spawned the cable modem marketplace, and, consequently, the broadband explosion we’re living in right now. He’s currently leading the development of the DOCSIS 3.1 specification, which promises substantial throughput and speed gains for residential broadband consumers. In this Q&A, originally posted on the Cable Congress blog “Interview with John Chapman”, he characterizes the highlights of DOCSIS 3.1, why it matters, and current events.

Q. What does DOCSIS 3.1 mean to cable-delivered broadband, as opposed to fiber?

Chapman: Service providers are often under scrutiny in terms of their competitiveness, against fiber-to-the-premise architectures. DOCSIS 3.1 will go a long way in assuaging those misperceptions. It can make that hybrid fiber-coax plant perform as well as fiber, at a fraction of the price of a fiber upgrade. DOCSIS 3.1 is all about getting more bang for the buck – it’s a higher performing, lower cost technology.

Q. What is the biggest change coming, in DOCSIS 3.1? Read More »

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DOCSIS 3.1: Here’s To the Next New Thing in Broadband!

Thursday, at a specially-added session during the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers annual Cable-Tec Expo, another milestone was placed in the evolution of cable modems and broadband networks: The expansion of the specification, to eke even more bandwidth out of existing HFC plant.

It’s called DOCSIS 3.1, and it’s a big deal. Every chapter in the DOCSIS specification added substantially new features – from 1.0 to 1.1 to 2.0 and, the latest workhorse for IP video, DOCSIS 3.0.

DOCSIS 3.1 will take that even further. I’ll stop short of saying it’ll make Read More »

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What’s Going On at Cisco During the 2012 SCTE Cable Tec Expo

I’m predicting this year’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo will go down as another cable technology milestone date. Why: The details of DOCSIS 3.1, the next chapter in cable modems, will finally go public on Thursday, October 18. Also: We’re in Orlando, and we’re within a few years of the 20th anniversary of the Time Warner Cable Full Service Network, which of course happened in Orlando. A milestone in its own right.

And for us, it’s already a milestone year, in a way. Why: We are demonstrating new Videoscape experiences expanded by the recent NDS acquisition, now including the NDS Snowflake experience, and my friend and colleague John Chapman, who pioneered the very first DOCIS spec (1.0, in the mid-‘90s), will be inducted into the SCTE Hall of Fame today. It’s a big deal and we’re really proud of him.

And now for what’s happening in our booth (#2034) at this year’s Expo:

  • Videoscape Experiences: We will demonstrate new Videoscape-delivered services and user experiences including NDS Snowflake and companion screen solutions.
  • CCAP: The Converged Cable Access Platform is an industry effort to make a “one-size-fits-all” QAM, to keep up with the growth in IP traffic, and to reduce rack space requirements and power consumption.
  • Unifying QAM & IP: We will show how digital network control system (DNCS) is evolving to simplify headend management and unify and harmonize QAM and IP connected devices.
  • DOCSIS leadership: We will demonstrate how our video-over-DOCSIS 3.0 solution enables cable operators to allocate their DOCSIS network resources to delivery IP video, and maximize the Cisco quality of experience for their subscribers.

And the Expo wouldn’t be the Expo without a wide-and-deep roster of technical papers and presentations. We’re glad to contribute seven papers/presentations this year!

Last but not least, we’re proud to sponsor the SCTE IP Challenge again this year – a friendly competition, held in a fast-paced, “Jeopardy”-styled format, to test attendees’ knowledge of Internet Protocol (IP) technologies. The IP Challenge was scheduled on “Expo Eve,” (Tuesday Oct. 16); we’ll get the results and photos of the winner(s) to you later in the week.

Until then: See you in Orlando and have a productive, tech-rich Expo!

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Happy Birthday DOCSIS! Let’s Eat Cake

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.

Read More »

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Vegas, Videoscape, and Vive La France!

Today we’re glad to shine the spotlight on our colleagues at Numericable, for taking such a comprehensive step forward in making multi-screen television available to its wide-reaching residential footprint in France.

Specifically, Numericable is deploying our  (3G60) Broadband Processing Engine, a high-density CMTS and uBR10k line card used for DOCSIS 3.0, wideband connectivity, as well as several components in our Videoscape TV family – meaning our CDS (Content Delivery System), for adapting multiple content types to different screen sizes; our Media Processor and Transcode Manager, for adaptive bit rate streaming; and our UCS and Nexus family of data center switches.

The plan augments Numericable’s existing work on its “fiber to the basement” initiative, which can offer up to 4 Gbps of capacity over fiber and coax. Read More »

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