Today’s HFC designs are limited by three main factors: End-of-line (EOL) performance, cascade limitations, and homes passed per node. In high-density architectures (urban areas or MDUs with greater than 150 subscribers per mile), the number of homes passed is the primary issue. This factor, coupled with the practice of dividing a node into sections for future fiber migration plans, leads to shorter amplifier cascades instead of maximized cascades. Why are the forward path system designs of today being limited by unclear, future return path usage? Why is the optical receiver/node a bottle neck for return signals? Can we eliminate these limitations by using readily available equipment in an asymmetric cascade? This paper suggests an alternative, cost effective broadband network design for high density architectures that allows the operator to use fewer forward transmitters to serve more customers today, while building a future-proof system for tomorrow.