John Chapman

Cisco Fellow & CTO

Cisco’s Cable Access Unit

John began his electronics career in high school when he built an AM tube radio receiver and transmitter. This led him to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Alberta in Canada. After graduating, John moved to California's Silicon Valley and designed European analog line and trunk cards for ROLM.

After ROLM was bought by IBM and sold to Siemens, John joined a small, private start-up company in Silicon Valley called Cisco. The year was 1989, the Internet was still emerging, routers were unknown, the Internet backbone ran on T1 lines and it was five years before the netscape browser.

John designed the HSSI (High Speed Serial Interface) Wide Area Network interface. When HSSI was deployed, it allowed the Internet backbone to move to 45 Mbps, a 30x speedup at the time. One of the early customers of HSSI was @Home.

In 1996, John help to found the CMTS group at Cisco with a handful of engineers who had been with Cisco since its early days and were yearning to do an internal start-up at Cisco. John architected the uBR7246, the industry's first DOCSIS CMTS.

Since then, John has been instrumental in the development of DOCSIS. John added in many of the voice features of DOCSIS 1.1. He invented DSG, the DOCSIS Set-top Box Gateway protocol. John developed the Modular CMTS architecture and wrote the DEPI specification. He originated the principles for bonding multiple DOCSIS channels together to create a wideband channel that was the basis for DOCSIS 3.0. John has consistently presented at SCTE over the years on a number of important issues to the cable industry, and enjoys working closely with the cable operators on driving DOCSIS to the next level.

In 2007, John was promoted to a Cisco Fellow, the top engineering position in Cisco, and was named CTO of the Cable Access Business Unit a few years later. John has twice received the Cisco Pioneering Technology Awards and holds over 80 patents issued and pending, with the majority of those patents focused on DOCSIS and cable technology.

He is a 6th Degree Black Belt Master in Taekwondo and enjoys white water canoeing and skiing. In his spare time, John enjoys spending time with his two girls Mikayla and Shayna.


How is Your Broadband Holding Up?

Now is the time we appreciate our home broadband infrastructure. Although put in place primarily for evening Internet usage, it is now working overtime to provide additional daytime enterprise, school, and gaming use. Let’s talk a little bit about what we are seeing in these extraordinary past few months.

September 26, 2019


Mobile Xhaul Over DOCSIS Delivers Faster Time to Market at a Lower Cost Than Building a New Fiber Plant

John Chapman, Cisco’s CTO for the cable industry explores new technology that builds on a cable operators current HFC network. He covers the business opportunity, provides a definition of mobile backhaul over DOCIS and shows how the business value of using existing plant for mobile backhaul.

5G, 10G, Whatever It Takes

5G and 10G are complementary in that they’re architecturally symbiotic: For mobile carriers to go to 5G, they’ll need smaller cells – for every one macro cell, as many as 50 small cells. That’s challenge enough...

Remote PHY for Infrastructure Automation: Why It Matters and Where It’s Headed

Occasionally, when in the middle of a vast and highly complex architectural transition, it makes sense to pull up and survey the situation. This is one of those times.

A DOCSIS 3.1 Update: Musings From a Guy Who’s Been DOCSIS Since Before There Was Such a Thing

In the future, every node will connect to every hub site - which will be transformative for service providers. DOCSIS 3.1 will give them at least a decade of growing room.

October 18, 2017


So You’re Building Out Your Mobile Footprint …

We’ve partnered with CableLabs to develop a way for DOCSIS to grow to handle mobile backhaul -- for 4G/LTE networks to start, and 5G installations as they start to emerge in meaningful ways.