Uncommon Wisdom

Apr 27 2010   5:31PM GMT

CableLabs looks to exploit coax plant for broadband edge

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

CableLabs, the “Bell Labs” of the cable industry, is looking at a project to further advance the exploiting of CATV cable for broadband delivery. This could be the first that doesn’t start with the channelized-RF framework that characterized cable of old, though how a radical new scheme could be rolled out inexpensively given the enormous legacy of channelized systems is hard to say.

The cable industry has a significant asset in CATV because the plant can be exploited at much higher potential speed than the older copper loop used in DSL. We hear that this new project is a long way from fruition and that there are significant disagreements among key technology gurus in the space on just what should be done.

The big question is whether channelized programming will go away in favor of on-demand programming. If it doesn’t, then the slotted format may be the best after all. Meanwhile, this will put more pressure on DSL and telecoms.

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