John Chapman

Cisco CTO Broadband & Fellow

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 from 1.5 Mbps to 45 Mbps, a 30x speedup at the time. One of the early customers of HSSI was @Home and NSFNet. In 1996, John co-founded 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 and the cBR-8, the third generation CMTS. 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. John has invented many of the fundamental DOCSIS features. • DOCSIS 1.0 - co-invented basic req-gnt access mechanism • DOCSIS 1.1 - UGS for VoIP, contributed to QoS, • DOCSIS 2.0 - DMPI, CM load balancing • DOCSIS 3.0 - bonding, virtual splitting and combining, • DOCSIS 3.1 - drove OFDM adoption, OFDM/OFDMA Profiles, PLC channel, DTP (DOCSIS Time Protocol) • DOCSIS 4.0 - FDX N+X (work started in 2014), • DSG - DOCSIS Settop box Gateway • Modular CMTS • Remote PHY • LLX - Low Latency Xhaul In 2007, John was promoted to a Cisco Fellow, in 2011 officially became CTO Cable Access and in 2020, John became CTO Broadband. John is a member of the SCTE Hall of Fame and the Cable TV Pioneers. John has three times received the Cisco Pioneering Technology Awards, holds over 140 patents issued and pending, and has published over 50 white papers. John was listed in CableFax 2021 and 2021 Top 100 Power Players. John is a 7th Degree Black Belt Master in Taekwondo, 5th degree in Hapkido, and a blue belt in Gracie Jui-Jitsu. John enjoys white water canoeing and skiing.


September 22, 2022


Investing in Middle Mile Networks to Reduce Social and Digital Inequality

3 min read

The U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has a $1 billion program to create middle mile networks that connect the Internet backbone with the last mile to expand broadband and improve access.

September 19, 2022


Seeing the Light at the End of the Tunnel

9 min read

The future is fiber, the present is Data Over Cable System Interface Specification (DOCSIS). This blog shares a few strategy and technology options from a CTO’s viewpoint.

How is Your Broadband Holding Up?

2 min read

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

6 min read

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

4 min read

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

4 min read

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

3 min read

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 …

3 min read

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.