Game Changer: Full Duplex DOCSIS® 3.1 Technology

Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 Technology Offers Symmetrical Gigabit Speeds.

Big news from US cable technology group CableLabs, when they announced a new cable broadband technology designed to enable existing Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) networks to deliver symmetrical broadband speeds up to 10Gbps.

It almost seems hard to believe living in a Time Warner market that never had cable speeds above 5M upload. But within months of the Charter merger, speeds were raised to 100×10 over coax.

In December 2016, Comcast joined Charter in committing to Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1

The expected arrival of Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 changes all of that by enabling the upstream and downstream traffic to use the same spectrum simultaneously – thereby doubling the efficiency of spectrum use – and facilitating ultra-fast symmetrical speeds.

Using 1GHz of HFC spectrum this equates to 10Gbps downstream and 10Gbps upstream and could put HFC plant on par with the GPON-based technology that is used for FTTP deployments.

Stampede Towards DOCSIS 3.1 to Benefit From Gig Speeds

Expect major MSO’s like Comcast Cable, Charter, Roger’s, as well as regional and local carriers with expanding business services to adopt this technology quickly.

Cable operators don’t want to be left behind in the race to offer ultra-fast broadband services and are stepping up the pace of investments in DOCSIS 3.1 technology to offer gigabit speeds to their customers.

Latest figures from Dell’Oro Group show that the “lure of gigabit speeds” has pushed cable operators to build out their infrastructure and invest rapidly in the new cable protocol,

“In 2017, we expect that DOCSIS 3.1 infrastructure will be more ubiquitous and pervasive throughout cable operators’ networks,” he added. “Spending on cable CPE devices will increase dramatically as cable operators focus on delivering much faster speeds to customers to better compete with telecom operators deploying PON and technologies.”

Full Duplex DOCSIS


One of the compelling attributes of a Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 network for the next evolution in HFC delivery is the strong foundation DOCSIS 3.1 technology provides. Cablelabs design and analysis shows that the existing Physical and MAC layer protocols in DOCSIS 3.1 technology can largely support this new symmetric service. The evolution to a DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex network is an incremental evolution of DOCSIS 3.1 technology and will support both backward compatibility and coexistence with previous generations of DOCSIS network deployments.

But not everyone agrees on Docsis 3.1, Altice doubles down on FTTH.

Altice ‘s US unit recently announced it would forego DOCSIS 3.1 and skip straight to FTTH for its entire US footprint. (See Altice Favors Fiber Over D3.1 for Its US Upgrade and Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint.)

Why are you deploying Docsis 3.1 technology in your network?

Michael Spence has diverse B2B sales and technical training experience in the cable, ISP, and telecommunications industry since 2009. In 2013, he started sharing his knowledge and experiences through corporate training and web based courses.

Sources: CableLabs UBB2020 NBNCO

You may also like this: HFC vs FTTH/DOCSIS 3.1 vs PON

2 Responses to “Game Changer: Full Duplex DOCSIS® 3.1 Technology”

  1. higher education degree

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner because I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this matter here on your website.

  2. skyer

    “But we think we can get to 10-gig symmetrical, which is a very rich architecture, without a compete network rebuild,” Rutledge said. For its part, CableLabs just indicated that Full Duplex is about a year away from trials … and several more years after that away from ubiquitous deployment. 


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