CableLabs Details DOCSIS 3.0 'Lite' Test

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Cable Television Laboratories Monday announced a three-tiered program for qualification of Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification 3.0 cable-modem-termination systems.

To encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might, according to CableLabs, it will offer three qualification levels: bronze, silver and full. The bronze and silver designations will be assigned to equipment that supports a subset of the complete DOCSIS 3.0 suite of specifications.

Ultimately, full DOCSIS 3.0 compliance will be the only certification level for CMTS vendors, since the two lower levels of qualification will be phased out as the full suite of criteria are made available by vendors.

“We are implementing this change in our program as a way to accelerate certification and interoperability of 3.0 modems and headend equipment,” CableLabs chief technology officer Ralph Brown said in a prepared statement. “The intent is to more quickly enable our members to compete effectively in the very high-speed broadband-data marketplace,”

Meanwhile, DOCSIS 3.0 modems will have only one level of certification that will represent compliance with the completed specification.

The research-and-development organization said it expects DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS models and cable modems to be submitted for testing and certification in the fourth quarter of 2007. In the meantime, CableLabs said, it will host several interoperability-testing events.

DOCSIS 3.0 specifications describe downstream data rates of 160 megabits per second (or higher) and upstream data rates of 120 mbps or higher. The technology achieves higher data rates by virtually bonding multiple channels together.