CableLabs Issues Home-Networking Specs

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

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

CableLabs plans to start CableHome 1.0 product-certification testing sometime
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-networking management,
including firewall protection and security; configurations for devices linked to
the network; and some elements drawn from its sibling, the PacketCable
specifications, which support voice-over-Internet-protocol service and
interactive gaming.

CableLabs is also working on a second version, CableHome 2.0, which will add
other elements to support voice applications, plus 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,' said Susan Marshall, senior vice president of
advanced-services strategy at AT&T Broadband, in a release.

'CableHome 1.0 helps to set the foundation for a managed network,' she added.
'AT&T Broadband looks forward to the technology's certification and
subsequent field evaluation.'

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