USB Internet with download we had upload speeds of 10Gbps may eventually come to American homes thanks to a new specification for high-speed, analog data transfers.
The company’s R&D unit, CableLabs, today declare that you have completed the Full Duplex Data On Pointing USB Service Interface, updated to DOCSIS 3.1. The completion of the 10Gbps full duplex spec came 18 months after the project revealing.
The completion of the information does not mean that you will suddenly get multi-gigabit uploads and downloads, because commercial implementations may be less than two years old and may not provide the maximum speeds allowed by the spec.
The first version of DOCSIS 3.1 was announced in 2013 and allowed 10Gbps downloads and 1Gbps outputs, but the first modems were not certified until early 2016, and real-world implementations are still taking place. Comcast last year began offering gigabit download speeds over cable using DOCSIS 3.1, but the service limited offerings to 35Mbps. Comcast’s symmetrical gigabit service only uses cable-to-home instead of cable, because cable technologies have supported asymmetric transmissions at gigabit speeds for years.
While the maximum speeds worked out in the specifications are often years before commercial offerings, CableLabs describes the full double specification as a major achievement.
“Current DOCSIS networks have to juggle upstream and downstream traffic,” CableLabs Research and Development VP Belal Hamzeh wrote in the announcement. “Full Duplex DOCSIS technology supports multi-gigabit analog services by providing simultaneous transmissions in the same form, providing the ability to increase upstream capacity without sacrificing downstream capacity. This has the potential to improve network efficiency and, overall, the customer experience.”
The full duplex version of DOCSIS 3.1 “offers higher speeds over existing infrastructure and is less expensive to deploy than cable, while maintaining backward compatibility with previous generations of DOCSIS technology,” Hamzeh wrote.
Symmetric, multi-gigabit fiber services are possible in 2019
There are still a few steps before commercialization, though article inside Multichannel News explain. While the physical design (PHY) is complete, the media access control (MAC) layer is being developed in working groups and will be completed “in the near future,” Hamzeh said, according to the article.
The final PHY layer signals that the full industry has reached an “‘advanced development stage,’ allowing vendors to push forward with their product development,” Multichannel News wrote
If market development goes as expected, “operators could begin commercial deployment of the technology by the end of 2019,” reads Light. reported in August.
We asked Hamzeh what hardware upgrades customers would need to take advantage of the update to DOCSIS, and we’ll provide an update if we receive one. Last year, Hamzeh wrote that CableLabs’ “design and analysis show that the physical and Mac protocols included in DOCSIS 3.1 technology can support most of this new service.”
But that doesn’t mean you’ll get 10Gbps from your existing modem. Cisco presented a proof-of-concept in June, with a downstream rate of 890Mbps and a peak of 680Mbps. Cisco explained that the ultimate goal with full duplex is to use 576MHz of shared bandwidth, but “modern cable modems ‘peak out’ at a peak bandwidth of 204MHz,” of which 96MHz was used in the demo.
When contacted by Ars, CableLabs said customers will need a “full duplex DOCSIS modem in-house” to get analog 10Gbps speeds. Cable companies will be able to use “existing coaxial infrastructure,” but will still need a full-duplex “remote PHY or remote MAC PHY field,” CableLabs said.
Nokia’s Bell Labs announced in May 2016 that it achieved 10Gbps asymmetric USB speeds in the lab using a slightly different system called XG-Cable.