Comcast this month announced that it has achieved a 10G technical milestone, in a trial delivering 1.25 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) upload and download speeds over a live, all-digital HFC production network using Network Function Virtualization (NFV) combined with the latest DOCSIS technology.
At a home in Jacksonville, Florida, technicians have installed the service which is based upon a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) that Comcast has deployed throughout the area. This advanced architecture includes a suite of software-powered networking technologies, including digital fiber optics, “Remote PHY” digital nodes, and a cloud-based, virtualized cable modem termination system platform (vCMTS), enabling delivery of gigabit-plus symmetrical speeds using existing cable connections. The technology team consistently measured speeds of 1.25 Gbps upload and 1.25 Gbps download over the connection.
“Our customers build their digital lives on the foundation of our Internet service, so we continue to push the technological envelope to anticipate their future needs,” said Tony Werner, President of Technology, Product, Xperience at Comcast Cable. “The great strength of our network technology is that we will have the ability to scale these next-generation speeds to tens of millions of homes in the future without digging up yards, or starting massive construction projects. This technology provides a path to meeting the needs of the future and making multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds a reality for everyone, not just a select few.”
Comcast notes it has been an industry leader in deploying and evolving network virtualization and DAA, which replaces physical elements of traditional networks with software- and cloud-based technologies that provide greater performance, increased reliability and the ability to upgrade more quickly and evolve networks without replacing physical equipment. This technology will be key to making multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds widely available as part of Comcast’s future offerings.
In 2015, Comcast notes it was the first ISP to deliver gigabit-class service using DOCSIS 3.1 technology, and in 2018, the company became the nation’s largest provider of gigabit speeds using that technology.
The trial also represents an important milestone on the path to deliver on the promise of the industry’s 10G platform, which aims to eventually enable 10-gigabit-per-second speeds and beyond by leveraging continuing advances in DOCSIS and other key network technologies. Comcast is engaged in the 10G initiative along with NCTA, CableLabs and SCTE, as well as operators from around the world.
In addition, Comcast and Charter Communications have worked closely to align on their approaches to 10G and are driving technology standards and architectures to benefit the industry. The latest advancements in 10G technology were on full display at this month's SCTE Cable Tec Virtual Expo.
“We’re excited to move these incredible 10G technologies from the laboratory to the living room,” said Elad Nafshi, Senior Vice President of Next-Generation Access Technologies at Comcast Cable. “We’ve been inspired by the work our global technical community has done to advance the technologies that made this performance possible and are proud to begin the process of delivering those benefits to customers.”
Comcast notes the trial was made possible not by a single technological innovation, but rather by a series of interrelated technologies that the operator continues to test and deploy in its network, all powered by a DAA ecosystem. These include its increasingly virtualized, cloud-based network model, a vCMTS; modern “Remote PHY” optical nodes that provide greater speed and flexibility; and the ongoing effort to extend fiber further into neighborhoods.
In the coming weeks, Comcast says it will expand the trial to more homes as we continue to test the performance of the service under multiple different home and network environments.