The DOCSIS 3.1 cable Internet standard just moved a little bit closer to American homes, with the news today that industry research group CableLabs has certified five new manufacturers of DOCSIS 3.1 modems.
Askey, Castlenet, Netgear, Technicolor and Ubee Interactive were all approved by CableLabs to manufacture DOCSIS 3.1 hardware, the group said in its announcement, which was issued less than a month after Comcast successfully tested a modem using the new technology in a consumer environment. CableLabs credited “highly effective collaboration” from vendors for the quick turn-around.
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DOCSIS 3.1 is said to offer the possibility of gigabit-speed connections for home use, and Comcast has already stated that it plans to offer a gigabit service using the technology by the end of this year. The company already offers a 2Gbps fiber service, but it’s expensive at $300 per month and only available in select areas.
It seems clear enough that DOCSIS 3.1 will broaden access to higher speeds, since it uses existing copper-wire networks, though Comcast has yet to announce pricing info for its service. For its part, CableLabs said that the technology is important for technologies like 4K-resolution television, telemedicine, virtual reality and gaming.
Despite the recent swift progress on the standard, DOCSIS 3.1 is the product of a multi-year process, featuring dozens of preliminary testing events and ongoing development by numerous stakeholders in the cable industry. Matt Schmitt, CableLabs vice president of lab services, said in a blog post that the group adopted an ongoing, iterative development model, allowing manufacturers to test and update quickly.
“That cut out a lot of overhead and repetition, with the result that first generation devices were able to reach the point of being compliant with the DOCSIS 3.1 specifications unusually rapidly,” Schmitt wrote.