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 160Mbps downloads move closer for US cable customers

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Date posted: 10/05/2007

US cable providers are actively working towards a ratified standard called DOCSIS 3.0.

DOCSIS 3.0 offers two clear advantages over DOCSIS 1.1 ? the current standard for most countries. It offers significantly faster speeds, and support for IP v6, which allows longer IP addresses, alleviating the current limit of four billion worldwide.

The technology has the potential to bump download speeds to 160Mbps and upload speeds to 120Mbps. Sadly, that is then split between all households connected to a single node point.

In the first widespread deployment of pre-DOCSIS 3.0 hardware, a South Korean cable ISP was able to pump 100Mbps service into the homes of its subscribers. This week's announcements provide hope that the kind of speeds seen in Korea will be making their way across the Pacific before too long.

Motorola, Singapore-based StarHub, and cable hardware provider Vyyo announced that they have successfully tested DOCSIS 3.0 hardware, delivering speeds in excess of 145Mbps. Testing was performed over StarHub's hybrid fiber-coax network in Singapore and used a combination of Motorola hardware and Vyyo's spectrum overlay products.

Texas Instruments has also announced a new DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem architecture that it says will enable "fast adoption and deployment of advanced DOCSIS 3.0 specification-based products." Called Puma 5, TI's solution provides advanced home networking support and is optimised for data, voice, and video traffic.

The announcements demonstrate that while the cable companies will have to invest in some new equipment, wholesale infrastructure improvements will be largely unnecessary. This is especially true for cable companies that have already deployed mixed fibre/coaxial networks. The upside? Faster DOCSIS 3.0 deployments in the US.

Even these speeds don?t reach the gigabytes per second that SimStim level virtual environments will likely consume in the decades ahead, but for now, every speed increase counts ? and 100mb/sec upload and download connections would radically improve the capabilities of virtual environments.

See the full Story via external site: arstechnica.com

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