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Comcast Tests Final Component Needed for 10G Multi-Gigabit Rollout

Comcast 10G
(Image credit: Comcast)

PHILADELPHIA—In a technical development that paves the way for the rollout of blazingly fast multi-gigabit internet speeds by the end of 2023, Comcast has announced a successful test of the final technical component necessary to deliver multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds using 10G and DOCSIS 4.0 technologies throughout its entire network. 

With this test completed, Comcast will launch live trials later this year, and, as previously reported, will begin delivering 10G-powered multi-gig symmetrical services to customers before the end of 2023.

The test announced on Sept. 20 at SCTE EXPO, showed the ability to deliver Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX) services over newly designed FDX amplifiers. FDX was originally designed for network environments without radio frequency amplifiers, so the new FDX amplifiers make it dramatically easier to extend the benefits of 10G to every customer within reach of the network.

“With this test, we’ve gone beyond proof of concept. We know we can use this technology to deliver multi-gigabit symmetrical services throughout our network and, in fact, we’re confident we have the potential to go even faster,” said Elad Nafshi, executive vice president and chief network officer at Comcast Cable. “With the key components of 10G tested and proven – and our digital, virtualized network architecture ready to support them – we turn our attention to extending the full benefit of 10G directly to our customers, including lower latency, greater reliability, and enhanced security.”

For the test, Comcast inserted new 10G amps, built on a Broadcom-developed reference design, into a complete 10G network loop using previously tested DOCSIS 4.0 modem and network technologies, Comcast explained. 

The team demonstrated download speeds of 6 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) and upload speeds of 4 Gbps across a complete six-amplifier cascade, sometimes called “N+6”. This architecture is inclusive of the vast majority of the Comcast network and is easily and quickly replicated where network environments may differ. As a result, the successful test is key to delivering 10G to all Comcast customers, the operator stressed. 

Following the successful tests of 10G modem and network technologies, the 10G amplifier technology was the final core element of the 10G ecosystem that needed to be tested to ensure 10G technology could effectively serve Comcast’s entire network. As with previous network evolutions powered by DOCSIS – and unlike some other technologies –10G allows Internet providers to deliver enhanced speeds and performance to hundreds of millions of people over the connections already installed in their homes, without the need to dig up yards and neighborhoods, or pick and choose who gets faster speeds and who doesn’t, Comcast explained. 

In addition, the technologies that power the 10G evolution will drive significant improvements in latency performance, delivering even better experiences with latency-sensitive applications like gaming, videoconferencing, and telehealth, while also unlocking the potential for a new generation of ultra-low-latency connected experiences, Comcast said. 

This announcement comes on a heels of several successful tests in the last two years where Comcast has made significant advances in 10G technology, including several world firsts. The company has conducted successful tests of all the technical components necessary to deliver 10G speeds to customers and is now looking forward to beginning live trials. 

Earlier in the month, the company announced the start of a nationwide rollout of multi-gig Internet speeds – which will reach more than 50 million homes and businesses before the end of 2025 – making it the largest- and fastest-ever multi-gig deployment in the United States.  

This final successful technical test of 10G amplifier technology, also means that it will begin delivering 10G-powered multi-gig symmetrical services to customers before the end of 2023.

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.