DOCSIS 3.1 Downstream Early Lessons Learned (2017)

By John J. Downey, Cisco Systems Inc.

DOCSIS 3.1 (D3.1) systems have been deployed in operating cable networks and some lessons have been learned. Allocating dedicated spectrum for new D3.1 cable modems (CMs) is a scary proposition and cable operators know what’s at stake. To compete with the marketing hype of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH),the cable industry has many tricks up its sleeves such as D3.1.

The D3.1 downstream (DS) has been the focus for the last year with the upstream (US) just around the corner. D3.1 offers speeds required by our customers and the tools and feature-set to make it work properly for the highest availability possible. A few features that help achieve "self-healing" are: DS resiliency, graceful profile management, mixed-modulation profiles, and more. For on-going operational monitoring, the DOCSIS standard has built-in proactive network maintenance (PNM) features to identify and locate hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) impairments quickly before customers even know they exist.

This paper and presentation explore the intricate details of real-world scenarios of DOCSIS 3.1 deployments using best practices to optimize the cable modem termination system (CMTS) for maximum throughput even in an impaired environment: the type of environments every cable operator eventually experiences.

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