Today' s cable network is migrating from the traditional tree-and-branch topology originally designed for point-to-multipoint video entertainment to a star, tree-and-branch topology with a robust, dynamic capability for a wide range of applications beyond video entertainment. One of the major research efforts at CableLabs is focused on leveraging this newly evolving topology so that it can support applications such as multimedia and personal communication services (PCS).
The cable network is positioned to deliver digital signals that will reside above analog spectrum and to provide analog and digital fiber within the same sheath. This will allow the transparent transport of multimedia and PCS applications.
This paper addresses the concept of the regional hub, which provides connectivity to regional and national networks; the transport and interface requirements for analog and digital video entertainment and new applications; the attributes of interactivity and bi-directionality in cable's network design; and reliability and system performance over cable's infrastructure.