Deploying ATM Residential Broadband Networks (1996)

By Mark Laubach

ATM residential broadband technology is rapidly entering commonplace discussion. The capabilities provided by ATM network inter$ace devices promise data bandwidth speeds far in excess of those provided by traditional twisted pair public telephone networks. Cable TV operators and Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), e.g. PacBell, are preparing for this integrated broadband future by installing or rebuilding existing all-coaxial cable plants into two-way Hybrid-Fiber Coaxial plants and by offering a wide range of both data and interactive services which they feel will be most attractive to their subscriber base. Initially these services will only provide Internet access and access to the major information service (e.g., Compuserve, AOL, and Prodigy). These service offerings will quickly advance to support multiplayer gaming and collaborative services such as voice and desktop video teleconferencing. As an introduction to some of the issues surrounding ATM residential access technology, this paper summarizes two of the standardization efforts: the ATM over HFC definition work taking place in the ATM Forum’s Residential Broadband Working Group and the standards progress in the IEEE P802.14 Cable TV Media Access Control and Physical Protocol Working Group. Delivering ATM-based integrated services via a Cable TV has its own set of deployment issues and benefits that are briefly overviewed and summarized.

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