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Comcast out of the starting blocks with Dory gateway

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 8:30am
Mike Robuck

Earlier this summer, Comcast started offering its first gateway product with the launch of its Dory gateway.

The wireless Dory gateway features include a two-line embedded multimedia terminal adapter (EMTA) with an integrated router, a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi access point, which can connect 802.11 b, g and n clients simultaneously. The Dory gateway also has four Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports and was designed to meet PacketCable 1.5 and 2.0 specifications, as well as DOCSIS 3.0 specs.

Comcast subscribers can set up the Dory gateway via the company's Home Network Wizard. It also features a WPS button on the gateway that lets users connect any WPS computer or device by pushing the button. (Comcast has posted an online user guide for its Dory gateway.)

"That's really our first gateway product," said Steve Reynolds, senior vice president of home networking for Comcast. "Consumer reaction to that has been pretty good, and, based on where we go in terms of operational and capital costs, we may look to do more advanced gateways or more integrated gateways."

Comcast has Dory gateways from SMC Networks and Arris in customers' homes. Like other customer premises equipment in subscribers' homes, the gateways are leased at $7 a month.

For now, some cable operators are content to use gateways that enable home networking to other devices, including set-top boxes in the home. But as new DOCSIS 3.0 silicon improves speed, video over DOCSIS and IP will come into play down the road. The end result could be a hybrid device that handles, data, video and phone services.

Subscribers benefit by being able to view Internet-based and premium video content on different devices through the home.

"As you look forward two or three years out, clearly IP video over DOCSIS technology will take off, with DOCSIS 3.0 bandwidth being able to support that," said Motorola's Chris Kohler, senior director of engineering for broadband products. "That's when you'll start to see these gateways go through another evolution of adding on another service that takes that IP video over DOCSIS content and distributes it throughout the home to IP set-top boxes or other client devices.

"It's really a large evolution that these gateways are going through. It started a couple of years ago, and now we're kind of right in the middle of it."

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