Sandvine Expands Cable Support In Bandwidth-Management Platform

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Sandvine, whose bandwidth-management system is used by Comcast and other operators, has expanded the product's capabilities for cable networks, including interoperability with DOCSIS 3.0-based cable modem termination systems.

The latest release of the Fairshare Traffic Management system, version 3.2, is in beta trials at four "tier-one" cable service provider networks in North America and Europe, according to Sandvine.

The company's customers include Comcast, which installed the Fairshare system as part of its "protocol-agnostic" bandwidth management approach after getting called on the carpet by the Federal Communications Commission for blocking upstream BitTorrent requests. Almost half of Sandvine's Fairshare Traffic Management customers are mobile network operators.

The issue of Internet traffic management has been part of a long-simmering debate about "network neutrality." Last week Google and Verizon Communications jointly proposed a framework for how wireline and wireless networks should be governed. Meanwhile, the FCC is considering reclassifying broadband as a Title II service, which would potentially impose rate regulations and nondiscrimination requirements on providers.

Waterloo, Canada-based Sandvine launched the Fairshare Traffic Management solution in May 2008. To date, 30 service provider networks serving more than 90 million fixed and mobile subscribers worldwide have purchased it.

In addition to DOCSIS 3.0 support, the Fairshare Traffic Management release 3.2 provides enhanced policy options

for managing network resources based on application, subscriber, time of day and congestion awareness, as well as reporting tools that provide detailed descriptions of policy actions, outcomes and impact.

"Broadband connections are increasingly being managed to ensure that all users and applications receive a fair share of network resources," said Tom Donnelly, Sandvine executive vice president of marketing and sales. "Fairshare Traffic Management is on its third iteration to address the growing complexity of modern operator networks. Our product manages traffic in a way that considers all types of use cases and variations of applications, users and congestion state."

One of Sandvine's competitors in the bandwidth-management space, Arbor Networks, is in the process of being acquired by test and monitoring equipment vendor Tektronix.

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