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Buckeye CableSystem has teamed with Camiant to offer bandwidth-on-demand and other IP applications tied to the emerging PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM) architecture.

In the deployment, Buckeye is enlisting the Camiant QBUS policy server, and the vendor's Bandwidth on Demand Application Manager. The policy server and application manager are two primary elements of PCMM, a CableLabs-specified architecture that injects quality of service into IP-based applications and services. It is also viewed as a platform that will help cable operators differentiate their data services from DSL and other high-speed competitors.

Initially, Buckeye will leverage PCMM to support its four data tiers (8 Mbps/768 kbps, 5 Mbps/512 kbps, 1.5 Mbps/128 kbps, and 96 kbps symmetrical). The system will allow customers to test a faster tier without having to reboot their cable modems, noted Ed Delaney, Camiant's vice president of marketing and business development.

"Now, subscribers can experience the power of broadband by trialing the incremental speeds associated with our high-speed data tiers to determine what package best fits their needs," said Buckeye Chief Technology Officer Joe Jensen, in a statement. He added that Buckeye also plans to expand its offerings to include SIP-based telephony and other IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) applications.

The platform will also enable Buckeye to allow temporary speed increases for specific applications. A customer on a PCMM-enabled network could use a "turbo button" to ratchet up speeds to upload photos more quickly to a digital photo service, for example.

Buckeye, an MSO that serves about 130,000 subs in the Toledo, Ohio area, marks the first announced deployment for Camiant, although the vendor has been linked to Comcast Cable, as well. Last October, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts mentioned his company was working with the Marlborough, Mass.-based vendor.

Delaney said two areas are driving the need for PCMM: streaming video and SIP-based applications such as voice and online gaming.

Although 2005 was marked by a couple of deployments, 2006 could be a big year for PCMM. "In 2006, you'll see every major operator do something with PCMM," Delaney said. "They've all done the lab trials at this point."

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