The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) and CableLabs are teaming up on a special session at this month’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando that will help define the next iteration of DOCSIS.

The cable operator industry has been pondering how DOCSIS would evolve to meet the demand for increased speeds on both the downstream and upstream. A similar panel took place earlier this year during The Cable Show in Boston.

Previously, cable operator employees and vendors frowned upon the term of DOCSIS 3.1, but now it has been added to cable’s nomenclature. While DOCSIS 3.1 will be making its public debut at Expo, vendors, including Arris, Cisco and Motorola Mobility, outlined some of the proposed features in a white paper that surfaced at the Cable Show. 

The session, “DOCSIS 3.1 Specification and Standard Development,” was designed to accelerate understanding of the next evolution of DOCSIS high-speed Internet technology and lay the foundation for what it will be.  Scheduled for 11 a.m. on Oct. 18, the 90-minute session will feature a panel discussion including network technologists from CableLabs and the cable operator community, as well as an overview of coordinated network preparedness and training from SCTE with respect to the DOCSIS 3.1 technology.

Moderated by Dan Rice, vice president, access network technologies for CableLabs, the panel will include: Jeff Finkelstein, senior director, network architecture for Cox; Howard Pfeffer, senior vice president, broadband engineering and technology for Time Warner Cable; Jorge Salinger, vice president, access architecture for Comcast; and Matt Schmitt, director, DOCSIS Specifications for CableLabs.

“DOCSIS 3.1 specification development is a significant milestone on the industry’s roadmap to next-generation services,” said Ralph Brown, CTO of CableLabs. “Our SCTE Cable-Tec Expo panel will identify the motivations, requirements and key technology building blocks under development with the collaboration of the vendor community.  DOCSIS 3.1 solutions will provide both residential and commercial cable customers with faster data rates—both upstream and downstream—that support increasingly compelling broadband services.”

After the panel, Daniel Howard, senior vice president, engineering and CTO of SCTE, will present an update on how the SCTE plans to develop training and best practices that can speed the deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 technologies in current networks. 

“The faster new technologies can come to market, the sharper cable’s competitive edge will be,” said Howard. “Our involvement with CableLabs on the DOCSIS 3.1 specification is an example of how SCTE will be engaging with CableLabs, operators and vendors throughout the development process to ensure that training and other workforce resources are available on a timely basis. It’s all about deploying new technology faster than ever before.”

The DOCSIS 3.1 session is one of two joint activities between CableLabs and SCTE at Cable-Tec Expo.  The conference also will feature an opening general session discussion pairing CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney and SCTE President and CEO Mark Dzuban along with K. Dane Snowden, chief of staff of the NCTA.

“We’re privileged to bring together an outstanding group of access network experts to talk about the next progression of cable’s DOCSIS specification,” said Jim Ludington, executive vice president, network national operations for Time Warner Cable and chairman of the Cable-Tec Expo 2012 Program Committee.

Expo is slated to run from Oct. 17-19 in Orlando, Fla.