Light Reading

What Comcast Learned From Trying Out CCAP

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

While much of the discussion on Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) has centered on a new breed of high-density network gear, deploying the next-gen network will also require some significant changes to the way MSOs operate.

Deploying CCAP "won't be a simple box swap," insisted Jorge Salinger Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s VP of access architecture, a panelist on a Light Reading webinar on cable's CCAP activities on Tuesday. (An archive is available here.)

"Preparing for deployments is not a trivial matter," Salinger said.

To get ready for some small-scale deployments in 2013 and a broader rollout in 2014, Comcast conducted a six-month CCAP operational-readiness trial earlier this year with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and another vendor that the operator has yet to disclose. (See Comcast Issues CCAP RFP and Comcast on Track for First CCAP Rollouts .)

Getting the operational house in order will become paramount for CCAP because it will mark the first time that cable operators will combine two groups –- video and data -- that have been mostly independent of each other.

A reshuffling of engineering talent and new training requirements aren't the only operational challenges operators can expect to face with CCAP, a high-density platform that will combine the functions of the cable modem termination system and the edge QAM.

Salinger said Comcast also discovered that it will need to consolidate its monitoring and alarm systems, as well as its support processes. Comcast uses different trouble ticket systems for data and video, so those will need to be unified.

The trial did show that CCAP is already a stable system. There was only one outage during the six-month trial, and that was not due to the CCAP platform itself, Salinger said.

Deployment scenarios and service drivers
Salinger also outlined a range of possible CCAP deployment scenarios, including a "drop in" to augment existing capacity; the addition of CCAP for a specific, new, capacity-intensive service; and a full infrastructure upgrade, whereby the operator would install the new platform and redeploy the older CMTS and edge QAM gear.

Earlier in the webinar, Cisco Senior Director of Marketing John Mattson talked about expanding capacity in edge QAMs and CMTSs as middle-step in the CCAP migration. He also suggested that cable operators won't need to deploy a fully integrated CCAP platform until after they start to deliver 1Gbit/s speeds to individual service groups. (See Cisco Says CCAP's Tipping Point Is 1Gbit/s.)

Among service drivers, Salinger noted that video-over-IP is "one reason why the migration to CCAP is necessary," and also identified a cloud DVR as the kind of service that would require a new level of QAM densities. (See Comcast Execs Talk Up X2, Cloud DVR and Comcast Tests Network DVR in Boston .)

But CCAP's densities will also provide cable with a much greener system. Salinger said CCAP will support four times the capacity in half the rack space, cut power consumption by about 60 percent, and essentially eliminate the need for brick-and-mortar headend expansions.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2013 | 4:00:10 AM
re: What Comcast Learned From Trying Out CCAP

CCAP's anticipated operational impact makes me wonder if the tier 2 operators will hold off for a bit while they let Comcast and TW Cable and maybe another major operator figure this out and come up with best practices on deployment.  And that's not even addressing whether some of the smaller msos will *need* CCAP for a while.  JB

Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2013 | 4:00:09 AM
re: What Comcast Learned From Trying Out CCAP

Interesting point... if space is already extremely tight, it could be tough to squeeze in the new gear before an operator could start to take out some of the legacy equipment and take advantage of those space and power savings expected from CCAP. JB


From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Tail-f, Cisco & What the Future Holds

10|9|15   |   8:17   |   (0) comments

Steve Saunders meets with Tail-f's Director of Technology, Carl Moberg, in Stockholm to discuss becoming part of Cisco, ETSI MANO, virtualization and the need to combine science and business in order to create opportunities for service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Broadband Forum Embraces SDN & NFV

10|9|15   |   02:42   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Robin Mersh and Kevin Foster from the Broadband Forum explain how the industry body is adapting to meet the SDN, NFV and cloud needs of the access network sector.
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/6/2015
Infinera Fleshes Out Its Metro 100G Story
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/7/2015
AT&T Gets Green Light for VoWiFi
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/7/2015
AlcaLu Execs Lose Out as Nokia Unveils New Top Team
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/7/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here