At SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2022 (Sept. 19-22) in Philadelphia, Comcast announced a successful test of what it reckoned as "the final technical component necessary to deliver multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds powered by 10G and DOCSIS 4.0 throughout its entire network."
Following on the heels of successful tests earlier this year of 10G modem and network technologies, the newly tested 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," the company stated in a press release.
Over the past 24 months, Comcast notes it 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. With this final successful technical test of 10G amplifier technology completed, Comcast said it will launch live trials of the network later this year, and announced it will begin delivering 10G-powered multi-gig symmetrical services to customers before the end of 2023.
Comcast noted it has previously completed "successful, world-first tests of 10G network and modem technologies," including demonstrating a complete network-to-home 10G loop. Per the company, the test announced at Cable-Tec Expo 2022 showed Comcast's ability to deliver Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX) services over newly designed FDX amplifiers.
As noted by the operator:
"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."
For the test, Comcast inserted new 10G amps, built on a reference design developed by Broadcom, into a complete 10G network loop using previously tested DOCSIS 4.0 modem and network technologies. The test project 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”.
The company noted that the tested 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," added a company press release.
QUOTE"With this test of 6 Gbps download speeds demonstrated, 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. 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." -- Elad Nafshi EVP and chief network officer at Comcast Cable
As concluded by Comcast's announcement, "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. 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."