CableLabs Issues Home-Net Specs

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Cable Television Laboratories Inc. is adding a link for new cable services to the first set of specifications to govern home networking.

The Louisville, Colo.-based cable consortium last week announced specifications for CableHome 1.0, which will give cable operators the management tools to create home-networking services, as well as provide electronics manufacturers the guidelines to build the necessary devices.

CableLabs plans to start CableHome 1.0 product certification testing some time in the third quarter.

Cable operators, including AT&T Broadband and Cox Communications Inc., have begun offering home-networking options to customers as a way to gain more revenue from their existing cable-modem networks.

The 1.0 specifications set guidelines for basic home-network management, including firewall protection and security; configurations for devices linked to the network; and some elements from PacketCable, its sibling spec, which support voice-over-Internet protocol service and interactive gaming.

CableLabs is also working on a second version — CableHome 2.0 — which would add other elements to support voice applications, as well as digital media-distribution guidelines.

The specifications are available on the Internet for manufacturers in designing their future home networking products.

"These interface specifications enable cable operators to assist consumers with management of their home networks and provide users with assistance ranging from installation to security," AT&T Broadband senior vice president of advanced services strategy Susan Marshall said in a press release. "CableHome 1.0 helps set the foundation for a managed network. AT&T Broadband looks forward to the technology's certification and subsequent field evaluation."

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