It’s hard to believe we’ve been shipping the Cisco RPHY (Remote PHY), standards based, products for two months already! It all started at ANGA.COM with the launch of Infinite Broadband, which included the cBR8 RPHY capability and a GS7000 RPD (Remote PHY Device).

Today we are pleased to announce that the Infinite Broadband solution has expanded to include an RPHY Compact Shelf. What!? A shelf? Yes, you read it correctly, a shelf. Let me explain a bit more; a shelf is an RPD that you can mount in a nineteen-inch rack in a hub site or head-end. The Cisco RPHY Compact Shelf will support up to six Service Groups and is only one RU in height. And that’s as small as it gets.

Why would an RPHY Compact Shelf be a good thing? If a Cable Operator or MSO has smaller hub sites with eighteen or less SG’s (Service Groups), you can use three of the RPHY Compact Shelf units in the hub site instead of a cBR8 and be done! That’s three RU’s compared to the thirteen RU’s of the cBR8. So, from a footprint perspective, you need a lot less space, and your power and cooling requirements would drop too.

If you have multiple smaller hub sites, assume sixty-four SGs in total divided over three hub sites, that means roughly eleven RPHY Compact shelf units, and we only need one cBR8 to support the sixty-four SGs. So in total, you’d need twenty-four RU compared to thirty-nine RU of space. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out the math; this reduces the TCO significantly. As we start to grow the number of SG’s supported on a cBR8 you can imagine the impact to overall TCO! And we’ll be doing this soon via a software upgrade. (Ask your Cisco representative for more details.)

This is our Hub Site Consolidation solution; the diagram shows it in action.


And yes, the two differentiators that we discussed in May still apply.

The RPHY Compact Shelf uses the Cablelabs® OpenRPD open, standardized software, which allows cable operators to select a Remote PHY device (RPD) vendor that best meets their needs, without being locked into a single vendor’s proprietary solution. Cisco contributed their open software to the Cable Labs OpenRPD forum and its ecosystem of RPD vendors in 2016.

The RPHY Compact Shelf will also work with our RPHY deployment automation software based on model-driven network configuration protocol (NETCONF) and YANG technology. Cisco’s vendor-agnostic cable automation software ensures that the new Remote PHY devices can be easily and automatically provisioned, resulting in significant savings over existing manual provisioning solutions.

To find out how the  Cisco RPHY Compact Shelf would work in your network, please reach out to your Cisco representative.

To find out more about our Infinite Broadband solution, visit the cable access solution page on cisco.com or download our Road to Cisco Infinite Broadband E-Book today.


Daniel Etman

Product Marketing Director

Cisco's Cable Access Business