April 27, 2023
Following recent hints that DOCSIS 4.0 is squarely on the roadmap for its widely deployed hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) infrastructure, Canadian cable operator Rogers Communications confirmed this week that it has begun conducting tests of the technology.
"We are already in what I would call practical trials" of DOCSIS 4.0, Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri said Wednesday on the company's Q1 2023 earnings call.
Staffieri didn't detail the size and scope of the trials but said Rogers has been able to crank out speeds of 8 Gbit/s downstream and 6 Gbit/s upstream using the test gear it has on-hand.
Figure 1: (Source: Paul McKinnon/Alamy Stock Photo)
Rogers, which is Canada's largest cable operator, has already tapped suppliers such as Harmonic and Casa Systems for some of its next-gen access network activity. The company also has a technology syndication deal with Comcast for video technology and certain broadband products, including modems and gateways.
Staffieri said Rogers intends to go "aggressively" with DOCSIS 4.0 in areas that aren't built out with fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology.
Rogers today offers downstream speeds of at least 1.5 Gbit/s across its HFC network and up to 2.5 Gbit/s in some areas. The company added about 14,000 broadband subs in Q1 2023, bringing its total to 2.3 million prior to its recently closed merger with fellow Canadian operator Shaw Communications.
The Toronto-based operator will also explore opportunities to bring D4.0 to networks formerly operated by Shaw. Rogers estimates that its wireline network, with Shaw now in the fold, now covers about 70% of households in Canada.
Rogers' focus on DOCSIS 4.0 is another indicator that the technology will largely be a story for North American cable. A new study from outside plant tech supplier ATX Networks heavily weighted toward North American operators found that nearly half of respondents said they intend to activate D4.0 in their HFC networks before the end of 2025.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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