DOCSIS To CMAP Evolution (2011)

By Jeff Finkelstein, Cox Communications and Jorge Salinger, Comcast

As the need for additional video channels increases for legacy MPEG-TS delivery and new and evolving IP delivery, the amount of equipment needed to provide that new capacity may be greater than current facilities can support. Building more head-end or hub locations may be an option, but it is one of the most expensive and invasive steps that operators may undertake. As an industry, we have realized that to wait until the time you need the bandwidth is too late, and that we need to be proactive in order to be prepared for this eventuality.

Denser Edge QAM technologies may be used to help solve the growth from an edge perspective, but they do nothing to solve the need for more backend processing to handle the IP video streams. DOCSIS bypass has been proposed as one method for solving the IP handling and avoiding being forced to add more CMTS equipment, but in turn, DOCSIS bypass forces operators into a non-standard solution.

The Converged Multi-Service Access Platform (CMAP) provides the combined functionality of legacy Edge QAM, data processing of CMTS, and IP video processing. CMAP is able to provide full downstream spectrum through a single port that allows operators to have complete flexibility in deployment of services throughout the full range of channels.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss methods for using CMAP to solve these problems by using the new architecture as an evolutionary step in moving towards a completely converged edge solution across all services. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in this area as it crosses technology and business units, but CMAP provides a mechanism allowing each to continue managing their services as we do today and evolve into the future by incremental steps. CMAP also allows us to take a revolutionary approach and leap into the future by immediately converging services at the edge.

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