Comcast’s access chief Salinger: MSO will have DOCSIS upstream channel bonding in 2017

Comcast

PHILADELPHIA — Comcast Access Architecture VP Jorge Salinger said his company is looking to deploy DOCSIS 3.1-powered upstream services in 2017.

The decision was made to proceed with DOCSIS 3.1 downstream deployments in 2016 “because 3.1 was not available in upstream,” Salinger told a breakfast panel at the SCTE’s Cable-Tec Expo this morning. “We didn't want to wait.

The question of when upstream channel bonding gear will be available is best answered by the vendor community, Salinger conceded, “but I think it’ll be in 2017.”

On a separate but related front, CableLabs is currently in the spec phase of developing Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1, which will deliver symmetrical speeds across downstream and upstream channels. 

“Things are moving along quite well,” added Belal Hamzeh, director of network technologies for CableLabs, offering a tacit confirmation of Salinger’s timeline.

For its part, Comcast has been the most aggressive operator in terms of charging ahead with DOCSIS 3.1 deployments. Salinger said CPE has been a limiting factor, with customer gateways and computers often not able to support 1-gig services.

Most of the customers signing up for DOCSIS 3.1-powered services, he said, are “expert users” who understand the abilities of their own equipment. 

“But we know that when it gets mainstream, we’ll have issue in the homes,” Salinger said. 

Meanwhile, the Comcast executive added that the MSO is automating a lot more plant functions, including the assignment of modulation profiles, which in the past has been a time-consuming human-controlled process. 

With software, he said, modulation profiles on an individual modem level can be reset several times a day for maximum efficiency — something that was unheard of without software automation. 

Salinger also addressed the deployment of distributed architecture technologies such as Remote Phy. 

“We’re not going to wait for Full Duplex to start deploying distributed architectures,” he said. 

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