Cable Tech

Cable's dance with DAA, PON, wireless, DOCSIS 4.0… and more

Entering its 16th year and having obtained its driver's license, Light Reading's Cable Next Gen Technologies & Strategies event will be held March 14 and 15 in downtown Denver. After going all-digital due to the pandemic, this will be the first time the event will be live and in person since 2019.

A lot has happened in the cable tech world since then. Many operators backburnered their hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) upgrades in 2020 to deal with the near-term surge in network traffic. Three years later, that's all on the front burner again as operators push ahead with upstream enhancements to their DOCSIS 3.1 networks and start to plant the seeds for DOCSIS 4.0.

Meanwhile, the "cable" industry is becoming more fixated on passive optical networks (PON) in greenfields and other initiatives spawned by organic network expansions and rural builds that are backed by government subsidy programs.

A lot of ground will be covered at the show. Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick, who put together the agenda, and Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner dig into the big topics of the show in this podcast.

For a lightly edited transcript, click the closed caption button in the video toolbar. If you'd like to skip around and listen, here are some topics covered:

  • Alan reflects on the history of the event and how DOCSIS 3.0 was all the rage when it got underway. (0:45)
  • Alan discusses the event's focus on distributed access and network virtualization, DOCSIS 4.0 and the industry's greater emphasis on PON and mobile technologies. (1:40)
  • How and why HFC network upgrade activity has accelerated. (3:20)
  • How "optionality" has become a focus of cable network upgrades. (4:30)
  • Why the industry continues to drift away from the "cable" label. (6:00)
  • How mobile and wireless have become a bigger part of the industry's game plan. (6:45)
  • How government subsidy programs and bridging the digital divide have become an important opportunity for cable operators. (8:00)
  • Is there life for HFC after DOCSIS 4.0? (12:00)

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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