In an effort to find common ground between Comcast's Converged Multiservice Access Platform (CMAP) and Time Warner Cable's Converged Edge Services Access Router (CESAR), CableLabs has released an updated report on what will be required for a new device that converges access network architecture.

While Time Warner Cable and Comcast have taken slightly different approaches to network convergence, CableLabs' Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) is working to develop a common set of attributes for vendors and cable operators. Vendors, in particular, have clamored for more common ground between CMAP and CESAR in order to avoid developing two product sets.

The CCAP Architecture Technical Report represents a consolidation of the core interface requirements for CMAP and CESAR.

"This blending of our two approaches will help create an industry-wide approach for access technology platforms," said Comcast Cable CTO Tony Werner. "We are engaged in this CableLabs process and are actively contributing to its efforts on CCAP."

At the base level, CCAP integrates the functions of broadcast and narrowcast quadrature amplitude modulators (QAMs), as well as DOCSIS 3.0 downstream and upstream interfaces. It also includes the option to support passive optical network (PON) termination equipment in the same chassis.  

CableLabs said upcoming specifications would include new configuration and management technology important for service reliability and operational efficiency. Through flexible provisioning of traditional video QAMs to DOCSIS QAMS, the CCAP will enable the efficient transition from traditional video transport to IP transport of managed video services that enrich the customer experience.

"We are pleased with the industry consensus for the next generation of access platform," said Mike LaJoie, CTO at Time Warner Cable. "This platform will provide the economic scale for the industry to provide new high-bandwidth services."

The technical report is available online.