DOCSIS 3.1 - Top cable technologies in 2013

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CableLabs and the Society of Telecommunications Engineers are leading development work on a DOCSIS 3.1 specification that may allow cable operators to one day offer subscribers download speeds of 10 Gigabits per second.

Most major cable operators are still completing upgrades to the DOCSIS 3.0 platform, which can support download speeds of about 100 Mbps. CableLabs and SCTE haven't said when they expect the DOCSIS 3.1 spec to be completed, but the technology could one day help cable operators compete with faster broadband speeds marketed by rivals such as Verizon's FiOS Internet, and new competitors, including the Google Fiber project in Kansas City.

DOCSIS 3.1 could also help cable operators respond to the "Gigabit City Challenge" that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski launched in January. Genachowski said he wants to see at least one community in all 50 states offer residents Internet speeds of 1 Gbps by 2015.

SCTE has assigned Jack Moran, a fellow of the technical staff at Motorola Mobility's home division, to lead a working group focused on DOCSIS 3.1.