How Cable Plans Symmetrical Gigabit via FDX

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As 2017 promises to be "the Year of DOCSIS 3.1" for cable, the industry is working to supercharge its Internet delivery upstream. While DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 have set the stage for downstream speeds at gigabit levels, the upstream return path has been limited, putting cable at a potential competitive disadvantage as cloud, video, business services, Internet of Things (IoT) and other rich applications eat up upstream capacity.

According to a new Heavy Reading report, Cable Bets On Full Duplex for Symmetrical Broadband, the cable industry is rallying around Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX) to overcome its upstream limitations and enable symmetrical Internet service at multiple gigabit speeds. As an extension of DOCSIS 3.1, FDX relies upon cable's existing hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) architecture and uses unique tricks to share downstream and upstream bandwidth without causing signal interference.

However, the report says, FDX requires significant changes in cable's last-mile plant and is unlikely to move into the marketplace until 2019. The growing requirements for upstream capacity beg the nagging question of whether cable providers need to build fiber to the home, as Altice 's US division has already decided to do.

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