Increasing HFC Capacity: Design and Field Test of Return Path Frequency Stacking (1998)

By Robert Howald, Michael Aviles, and Frank McMahon, General Instrument Corporation

Thinking ahead during HFC deployment and upgrading is the key to assuring the network’s long-term success. In the race to build the information superhighway, it is important to recognize that now may be the time to add the few extra lanes that could make the difference between smooth sailing and gridlock. For the case of HFC, this means making the most of the performance-constraining return path. One cost-effective way to expand return capacity is to allow each node port to be translated to its own 35 MHz of RF bandwidth using frequency conversion. This paper describes system analysis, key hardware, and summarizes the key results of the first known field trial of a complete node-based frequency stacking system.

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