SCTE aims to standardize node interfaces

The SCTE/ISBE has created a Generic Access Platform (GAP) project within SCTE/ISBE Standards. The project will be conducted within the ...

Comcast's Watson to speak at SCTE-Tuck
Comcast's Watson to speak at SCTE-Tuck

The SCTE/ISBE has created a Generic Access Platform (GAP) project within SCTE/ISBE Standards. The project will be conducted within the Interface Practices Subcommittee (IPS) and is intended to expedite product innovation by developing a common framework for interfaces within node housings.

Within the scope of the GAP project, IPS intends to develop standardized physical, thermal, mechanical and electrical interfaces for node housings or families of node housings. The goal is to enable technology partners to devote resources to technology innovation that brings value to cable system operators, instead of expending time and effort on re-developing housings for each new generation of outside plant access equipment.

The GAP project is being chaired by two engineers from Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR): Kevin Kwasny, principal engineer II - OSP, advanced engineering, and Roger Stafford, principal engineer III, network and premise engineering. Members of the working group include representatives of Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA), and Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) as well as a range of vendors. At least five vendor companies have joined the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program so they can participate in the GAP project.

"Solutions that optimize flexibility, agility and scalability are essential to achieving service velocity for the deployment of innovative technologies," said Matt Petersen, vice president of access architecture for Charter. "The Generic Access Platform is intended to create an improved operational environment in which any module that is compliant with the GAP specification will be able to coexist with other GAP-compliant modules that are physically able to be installed in a GAP-compliant housing."

"The GAP program builds on earlier concepts in interface standardization," said Dean Stoneback, senior director, engineering and standards for the SCTE/ISBE. "The goal of the working group is to improve time to market and total cost of ownership for all types of HFC solutions, including DOCSIS, WiFi, PON, 5G and business services."

The inaugural meeting of the GAP project was conducted on March 14. The group currently meets every two weeks and is reviewing presentations by various proponents on subjects including functional specifications, interop testing, alternative materials, thermal modeling, housing designs and system requirements.

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