Media Library: Blog
Read About New Trends in Broadband Technology
As the US and other countries find themselves returning to some semblance of normalcy with COVID-19 vaccination rates rising, the impact of extended manufacturing shutdowns around the world is impacting daily life. The manufacturing shutdowns occurred over 2020 and early 2021 in key areas, and natural disasters like fires and weather also impacted production. Add to this the increased demand for computers and other internet devices during the lockdown period, and it’s easy to see how there is a shortage of semiconductor components. This shortage affects the availability of certain technology equipment and other goods across industries, from autos to appliances to computers and graphics cards and more.
Wi-Fi 6, also known in its technical form as 802.11AX is the successor to the most widespread current Wi-Fi protocol now deployed, which is 802.11AC, or Wireless AC. Wi-Fi 6 is an upgrade in theoretical speeds to be sure but is also designed to improve performance when utilized by multiple devices. I’m sure that your household is no different than mine, in that many devices are trying to access the Wi-Fi connection all at once. This includes laptops, phones, tablets, gaming consoles, vacuums, on and on the list goes. Even back in 2018, the average number of devices connecting in a home was over 9. Now, with more people working and playing from home, that number is even higher.
CPE is an acronym for Customer Premise(s) Equipment, which refers to any piece of connected equipment that is used for accessing the Internet or generally accessing services on a provider network, whether directly or indirectly connected to that network. CPE can be provided by the telecommunications provider, such as a cable operator, telephone company or satellite provider. These companies either rent this equipment to the customer, provide it at no charge as part of the service, or allow a customer to purchase and provide their own equipment. As the name indicates, CPE will sit on the customer side of the network and can be a demarcation point between the provider network (WAN) and the customer’s home network (LAN).
Many Americans do not live in urban areas of the United States of America. Instead, they live in rural areas of the country. There are many reasons for this, one of which could be lifestyle preferences. Perhaps, the reason is due to the level at which an individual is financially stable. For instance, living and working in a rural area is much cheaper and more affordable. Therefore, moving to a cosmopolitan area would cause the individual to become financially unstable. Whatever the reason, many Americans choose to work and live in rural areas of the country. However, the disadvantage of this decision is that these people that lack certain technological resources. More specifically, rural Americans lack access to digital communication and connection. As a result, these communities are left behind when it comes to certain services that are provided digitally. Luckily, the FCC has decided to give $244 million dollars to help jumpstart digital services to rural areas of the United States of America. In 2020 the world was hit with the global pandemic COVID-19, where it became more important than ever for rural communities to have access to television, wire, radio, cable, or satellite for entertainment, work, and the latest news.
The cable industry has been evolving the structure and performance of the broadband Hybrid-Fiber Coaxial (HFC) network since the inception of broadband internet in the mid-1990’s. This evolution has come in order to meet the ever-increasing thirst of the end-user for speed, delivered by higher bandwidth services. CableLabs, the industry standard-bearer for cable technology, has continually produced changes to the DOCSIS standards from DOCSIS 1.0 to the current DOCSIS 3.1 deployed in large part across major cable operators across the world. Each new version has brought higher bandwidth capacity to the HFC network and has steadily introduced fiber-optics deeper into the network. While some operators have moved entirely to a fiber solution, deploying Fiber to the Home (FTTH), others have embraced the incremental improvements from CableLabs that allow for use of the existing coax network they have invested in. The Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) is the latest version of technology, with multiple “flavors” springing from the CCAP design, most importantly designs based on a Distributed Access Architecture. Each new technology has increased scale and density to address this need for speed.
Given the importance of the STB to a cable or satellite television set up, it has to be rigorously tested to ensure that it is functioning optimally before being deployed to a user. Done manually, STB testing is a time-intensive and laborious process, as there are many features that need to be tested, such as video and audio quality, integration testing, and user experience, among other things. Additionally, there are often hundreds, if not thousands, of STB units that typically are tested at a given time; this large volume significantly extends the testing process. To shorten the testing time and to increase the number of STB units that can be tested, it is necessary to automate the STB testing process.
Setting up a broadband network for your business requires a lot of forethought and planning to ensure that it works optimally. Several considerations should be made when setting up a broadband HFC network; failing to address these can lead to a whole host of issues that are likely to hamper your network performance and may also negatively impact your business operations and processes. Of the various issues that could affect a cable network, one of the most prevalent and challenging to manage is broadband network noise or ingress.
It is important to regularly assess the health and performance of your network, as this has a significant impact on the success of your business.
Using network performance monitoring tools enables you to take a proactive, rather than reactive approach to managing your network. Identifying and addressing potential issues rapidly before they can impact your business operations can save significant time and money.
Learn more about what DOCSIS/Euro DOCSIS is, the differences between the two, and why it matters.