An Evolutionary View of A TM Based Cable Television Residential Architectures (1997)

By Gaylord A. Hart, XEL Communications, Inc.

As more services are transported digitally in the HFC network, an increasing number of them will be delivered via ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) technology. At some point, after voice, video, and data are all carried digitally on the HFC network, all network transport will likely be via ATM. ATM, due to its efficient statistical multiplexing, guaranteed Quality of Service parameters, and unique adaptation layers for each type of service, is widely recognized as the best digital transport technology for the integrated delivery of voice, video, and data over a single network. In the evolution of the HFC network, ATM will likely migrate outward from the headend toward the subscriber, and ultimately into the subscriber's residence. This paper looks at the integrated delivery of ATM based voice, video, and data services directly to the subscriber's home via an HFC network. An evolutionary examination of various residential CATV architectures which may be used to deliver ATM based services within the home and the technical and consumer issues and tradeoffs relating to each of these architectures is provided. The unique requirements imposed by ATM delivery and the unique opportunities afforded by ATM delivery are discussed. The evolution of service offerings made possible by such residential architectures is also examined.

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