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Videotron Update

Cisco/SA modems for speedier 'Ultimate' tiers are bonding two Docsis channels, and synchronizing everything via a third 'control channel'

Jeff Baumgartner

February 6, 2008

2 Min Read
Videotron Update

Even if it’s a “pre-cert” version of Docsis 3.0, when you’re the first North American cable operator to commercially launch a cable modem service that bonds together multiple Docsis channels, it’s worthy of some extra attention.

So, here are a few more details about Vidéotron Telecom Ltd. ’s rollout of its 30-Mbit/s and 50-Mbit/s service north of the border. (See Videotron Hits the Gas .)

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Videotron’s vendor partner in this endeavor, tells us that the MSO is supporting the new service with the Scientific Atlanta DPC2505 (PDF), and not the DPC3000, which SA submitted to CableLabs late last year during the first round of official Docsis 3.0 certification testing. (See Cisco Debuts IP Hubs for the Home.)

Also, here’s something to clear up some confusion (mostly my own) about how Videotron is allocating bandwidth for the speedier tier.

We’re told that the DPC2505 is bonding two Docsis channels and using a third “control channel” to provide synchronization.

Cisco also notes that some new software for the uBR10012 cable modem termination system (CMTS) will handle synchronization via the Docsis Timing Interface (DTI), an element of the emerging modular-CMTS architecture.

“Videotron has not completed testing on this new software version, and will migrate to the DTI approach once testing is completed,” a Cisco spokesman writes us.

So we’ll assume that Videotron will be able to apply that third channel toward more speed later on if it so chooses.

Cisco also stressed that the three-channel modem in use represents a “subset” of the full functionality of Docsis 3.0, which calls for a minimum bonding configuration of four upstream and four downstream channels.

So far, no vendors (modem or CMTS) have come away from CableLabs with certification or qualification for the full 3.0 specs. (See Cisco, Arris & Casa Make the CableLabs Grade.)

And when that technology matures, expect Videotron to deploy it. “What we’re aiming at is a full Docsis 3.0 product,” a Videotron spokesman says.

Elsewhere, DSL Reports weighs in on the consumption cap issue, showing that customers who take the faster “Ultimate” tiers will be on the hook for $1.50 for each gigabyte they consume over the limit. Customers who take some of the lower end tiers, including Videotron’s 20-Mbit/s and 7-Mbit/s offerings, are paying $7.95 for each gigabyte they consume above the threshold.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Docsis 3.0 Strategies: From Product Development to Service Deployment, a conference that will take a comprehensive look at the cable industry's plans to roll out its next-generation architecture around the world. To be staged in Denver, March 19, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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