CableLabs announced a three-tiered program for qualification of DOCSIS 3.0 (Data over Cable Service Interface Specification) cable modem termination systems (CMTSs). The DOCSIS 3.0 specification is nearing completion, but is not finished yet.
The move is designed to accelerate the process of commercializing DOCSIS 3.0 equipment by speeding the testing process. CableLabs is waiving what it calls some of the more advanced DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS requirements for the entry level of qualification as a way to encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might.
DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS qualifications will be Bronze, Silver and Full. Full DOCSIS 3.0 compliance will ultimately be the sole certification level for CMTS vendors. The two lower levels of qualification will be phased out as the full suite of criteria are made available by vendors.
DOCSIS 3.0 modems will have only one level of certification that will be representative of compliance with the completed DOCSIS modem specification. It is anticipated that DOCSIS 3.0 CMTSs and cable modems will be submitted as early as Q4 of this year. In the meantime, CableLabs will host a number of interoperability events.
DOCSIS 3.0 specifications describe downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher and upstream data rates of 120 Mbps or higher.
“We expect fully compliant DOCSIS 3.0 modem submissions to arrive at our labs along with a range of CMTS submissions in the fourth quarter of this year,” said Ralph Brown, chief technology officer at CableLabs. “We are implementing this change in our program as a way to accelerate certification and interoperability of 3.0 modems and headend equipment. The intent is to more quickly enable our members to compete effectively in the very high-speed broadband data marketplace,” he added.