Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2015

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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62 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 TECHNOLOGY Comparing Cable And Fiber Networks Fiber networks are capable of sustained, symmetrical 100 Mbps service that cable networks cannot match. By Andrew Aferbach, Matthew DeHaven, Marc Schulhof and Eric Wirth / CTC Technology & Energy C able broadband technology is currently the primary means of providing broadband data service to homes and businesses in most of the United States. Hybrid fber-coaxial (HFC) cable networks will be the main pathway for broadband communications for most homes and businesses for the foreseeable future because of their ubiquity in populated areas and their inherently greater capacity than commercial wireless solutions and copper telephone lines (the medium underlying DSL service). However, cable networks face signifcant and costly challenges to achieve the performance, capability and scalability aforded by fber-to- the-premises (FTTP) networks. Tough cable operators widely ofer download speeds of "up to 150 Mbps" over their HFC networks, they are unable to support these speeds on a sustained basis for a large percentage of customers simultaneously without signifcant upgrades to their networks. On the other hand, most current FTTP deployments can provide sustained speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps at one time, to all customers, with the ability to scale network capacity exponentially with relatively minor upgrades. Depending on the technology used, FTTP can provide sustained symmetrical services at these speeds; most cable operators limit their residential service oferings to 20 Mbps or less in the upstream direction. HOW DO CABLE SYSTEMS DELIVER DATA? Te delivery of Internet data services over traditional HFC cable television systems was standardized by a nonproft research and development consortium, Cable Television Laboratories (CableLabs), and ratifed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) under the name Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifcation (DOCSIS). DOCSIS is the technical standard by which data communications can occur bidirectionally over a cable TV system. Like cable television services, DOCSIS uses separate channels within the radio frequency (RF) spectrum of the network cable plant. Traditionally, cable television channels each use 6 MHz of spectrum. Te latest deployed version of the standard, DOCSIS 3.0, enables combining, Learn more about the advantages of FTTH technology at the BroadBand Communities s ummit in Austin, April 14–16.

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