Maximizing Returns on the Path to DOCSIS 4.0 (2021)

By Mike Darling, Shaw Communications

As wireline subscriber demand for increased broadband speed grows, cable operators will have to upgrade their networks to accommodate. Cisco estimates that the average fixed broadband speed in North America will increase 2.5-fold from 2018-2023. In Canada, strong competition from telco fibre-to the-premises (FTTP) networks adds to the need for upgrades. Shaw Communications is in the fourth year of a five-year upgrade cycle of its hybrid-fibre coax (HFC) network. This upgrade has allowed Shaw to offer a 1.5Gbps downstream by 100Mbps upstream service tier to most of its footprint and has driven congestion to near zero, all during a global pandemic that has seen network utilization spike by 30% in the downstream and 60% in the upstream. Despite its strong position, Shaw is already planning the next upgrade cycle, which will follow quickly on the heels of the current upgrade. This paper will discuss a strategy to manage network congestion and tier offerings, leveraging available HFC network architectures.

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