CableLabs Spotlights 10G Tech Advances Designed to Boost Broadband Speeds by 100X

(Image credit: Comcast)

LOUISVILLE, Colo.—CableLabs is highlighting the significant progress it made this year toward building technologies and specifications for the 10G network, which will deliver internet speeds 10 times faster than today’s networks and 100 times faster than what most consumers currently experience. 

"With faster symmetrical speeds, lower latency, enhanced reliability and improved security, the emerging 10G network will truly power the next generation of innovation,” said Phil McKinney, CableLabs president and CEO. “Alongside our members and other industry leaders, we are proud of the advancements we’ve made, and we look forward to continued industry collaboration on our path to bringing the network of the future to life.”

Those tech advances include progress in such areas as capacity, security and speed.

In terms of improved capacity, increasing the number of bits per second to subscribers to improve download and upload speeds, is a primary objective for the 10G platform. As data demands increase, many operators are considering increasing capacity on the existing optical access network. 

To help operators better meet that demand, CableLabs recently published its first set of specifications for a new device, called the Coherent Termination Device, that enables operators to take advantage of coherent optics technologies in fiber-limited access networks. Typically used for long-haul, metro and submarine networks, coherent optics technologies enable operators to use their existing fiber assets more efficiently when teamed with wavelength-division multiplexing in the optical access network, CableLabs said. 

The 10G platform also aims to provide better security and protect increasingly complex home and business networks. With secure cable modems, integrated access points/gateways and home routers continuously serving as targets for malicious activity and other cyber threats, CableLabs released a set of Best Common Practices (BCP). 

The BCP document was written, with input and support from CableLabs members and vendors, to ensure a globally consistent and robust baseline for gateway device security and an ontology for simplified communication and procurement between network operators and device manufacturers, the research consortium said. 

CableLabs also highlighted a number of tests by its members showing dramatically increased speeds. 

In 2021, CableLabs member, Comcast, successfully transmitted 4 gigabits-per-second upload and download speeds simultaneously in a live lab test, effectively proving out the superior performance offered by the DOCSIS 4.0 specifications. The first-of-its-kind test demonstrated the potential for DOCSIS technology to deliver the next generation of ultra-fast speeds. Comcast also completed a successful test of a complete 10G connection using a virtualized cable modem termination system (vCMTS) powered by DOCSIS 4.0 technology.

In addition, Charter Communications recently demonstrated greater than 8.5 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream on hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) cable plant. The lab demonstration shows the massive capacity available through incremental upgrades to an existing HFC plant.

CableLabs member, Armstrong, recently launched a 10-gigabit fiber-optic network in Medina, Ohio, providing 10G access to more than 3000 businesses and residences in the area. With this deployment, Armstrong is the first operator bringing the faster speeds, lower latency, enhanced reliability and improved security that 10G enables to residential customers. 

To continue the pace of tech innovation into 2022 and beyond, CableLabs recently launched the 10G Challenge to accelerate the work of innovators, startups, students and entrepreneurs in their development of applications for the 10G network. 

With total prize monies of more than $300,000, the 10G Challenge is designed to inspire innovators to leverage the emerging 10G network. The 10G Challenge is powered by CableLabs and will be judged in part by industry experts Mayo Clinic, Corning and Zoom to support developing technologies, services and applications that rely on the network of the future. Six winners will be chosen, and the Grand Prize Winner and category winners will have the opportunity to present their technologies at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo® 2022, the group said. 

“While we don’t know what the future holds, we do know that the internet will play a vital role in shaping it,” continued McKinney. “As our everyday lives become increasingly digitized, reliability, security, speed and latency take on increased importance. The immersive and interactive experiences the 10G platform will unlock depend on these innovations to create a better future for humanity.”

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George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.