Advanced Data Communications Applications for the CATV Industry (1993)

By Edward J. Zylka and William E. Cohn, Zenith Electronics Corporation

Two way cable plants have traditionally been used to provide interactive television services to home subscribers. The deployment of fiber technology and the impact of digital data services within the cable industry has accelerated the move toward telecommunications and local area networks.

Today's delivery costs for video (broadcast) entertainment services and data delivery remain less expensive via analog facilities vs. digital facilities. Furthermore, metropolitan community cable TV networks already provide ample bandwidth for the delivery of bi-directional services including video, voice, local area networks (LAN), alternative telecommunications access and real time control systems.

Unlike baseband LANs such as Ethernet and Token Ring, broadband LANs based on cable TV technology offer the ability to span large metropolitan areas and can be expanded to support multiple networks on a single cable.

Cable systems can be structured as a LAN backbone data architecture to support baseband sub-networks, bridges and routers, and can replace Tl circuits, dedicated and dial-up phone lines.

This paper will provide a technology brief, present case study applications and address the impact and benefits of cable TV data networks.

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