Defining the current 3.1 version as only the latest iteration of the cable network technology standard and not the culminating one, Cox Communications technologist Jeff Finkelstein outlined the potential for symmetrical speeds as high as 60 Gbps with future versions of DOCSIS.
Speaking at a Light Reading event in Austin, Texas, last week (an event also ably covered by Light Reading's Alan Breznick), Finkelstein, who serves as executive director of advanced technology for privately held Cox, outlined a vision for what he called “DOCSIS 4.0,” and alternatively, “DOCSIS dot Next.”
Also referring to the speculative standard as “Extended Spectrum DOCSIS,” Finkelstein said cable operators could use more than the 1.2 GHz of plant spectrum that is now accessed by DOCSIS 3.1, or even the 1.8 GHZ that is leveraged by emerging standard Full Duplex.
"Why can't we go to 3 GHz?" Finkelstein asked
As Light Reading noted, Arris CTO Tom Cloonan proposed a similar advancement for DOCSIS two years ago at the NCTA’s last big trade event in Boston.
In fact, by increasing the bandwidth of DOCSIS 3.1 to 6 Ghz, he said, HFC plants could support speeds higher than 50 Gbps. (The spectrum limit to coaxial cable is around 10 GHz.)
For his part, Finkelstein said he was inspired by Cloonan’s presentation to a group of Georgia Tech grad students to prove that the Extended Spectrum DOCSIS concept could work.
"I'd love to really start digging into this," Finkelstein said. "This is the time to start moving the ball forward."