The Power of Distributed Access Architectures (2020)

By John J. Downey, Cisco Systems

The industry’s latest technology displacement comes in the form of new system architectures. Shifting service provider networks from analog optics to pure digital optics creates a distributed access architecture (DAA). The fiber network now known as a converged interconnect network (CIN) allows for many advantages for future features and performance.

These advantages include features like low-latency functionality for gaming and Mobile (5G) backhaul, better performance to optimize DOCSIS 3.1 for more capacity/speed, and software features for operational simplicity and support.

High speed access via cable or telco has been a long battle that benefits the consumer in the end in the form of competition for better services and/or pricing. The cable industry has re-invented itself many times over with DOCSIS now with version 3.1 deployed and D4.0 on the horizon. We can easily offer > 1 Gbps DS and potentially 100 Mbps or higher US speeds.

The latest "trick up their sleeves" is a new architecture to exploit this even further. By displacing the modulation/demodulation functionality (the physical layer - PHY) remotely, cable operators can offer better reliability, higher quality and in essence, higher speeds.

So, the question, “why R-PHY or DAA in General”, will be addressed to provide answers to questions the attendees may not have even known to ask. We look at Remote PHY technology and implementation concerns for CMTS platforms along with benefits of DAA. A new phase is occurring now for outside plant upgrades that convert analog optics to digital optics. There are lessons learned and best practices to make this transition easier, less cumbersome with less customer-generated support cases.

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