DOCSIS International Standard

Recently, the term DOCSIS 3.0 came into limelight after the dominant cable broadband provider in the United Kingdom, Virgin Media, declared that engaging this technology enabled them to enhance their 50Mbp fibre broadband network, as well as considerably reducing the expenses. Citing the advantages put forth by the technology, the cable broadband provider had also gone to the extent of slashing its 50Mbps broadband package cost by around 8 pounds. Incidentally, many broadband experts in the country have been pondering over the scopes of the DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) standard in the context of Britain’s universal broadband rollout.

CableLabs developed the DOCSIS international standard, which determines the nature of the operation and communications backup interface requirements, for a cable system for providing data. DOCSIS standard helps an existing cable television system to add to it high speed data transfer capability. This has been employed numerous cable TV suppliers for adding internet access provision to their existing HFC (hybrid fibre coaxial) infrastructure. The companies in the world contributing DOCSIS include Motorola, Intel, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Harmonic, Correlant, Terayon, Netgear, Broadcom, Bigband Networks and ARRIS.

In March 1997, the first DOCSIS specification, DOCSIS 1.0 was issued, only to revise to 1.1 in April 1999 by adding to it QoS capabilities (quality of service capabilities). Subsequently, in 2001 December the second specification DOCSIS 2.0 was issued with a view to boost the upstream speeds. This was then a necessity to satisfy the increasing demand for IP telephony-like symmetric services. However, the standard was augmented in 2006 August, to DOCSIS 3.0 version. The revision was carried out mainly to boost both downstream and upstream transmission speeds significantly, and alongside launch support for Ipv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6).

For using in Europe, DOCSIS standards have been subjected to modification, since European and US CATV systems differed in terms of frequency allocation band programmes. EuroDOCSIS is the name under which the changes were published. DOCSIS also holds the credit for maintaining cross-version compatibility.

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