CableLabs Slates DOCSIS 3.1 Testing

Following through on its public pledges last month, CableLabs has set the schedule for its first two DOCSIS 3.1 equipment testing sessions in December and January.

CableLabs , which outlined its testing plans for the next-gen broadband spec at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver last month, quietly posted the schedule for its next "Interop Lab Events" on its website last week. The schedule calls for the first DOCSIS 3.1 "plugfest" in "a multi-vendor environment" to take place in the organization's Louisville, Colo. Labs during the week of December 1, followed by a second interoperability testing session during the week of January 19, 2015. (See Cable Preps for DOCSIS 3.1 Debut.)

With that online posting, vendor registration for the multi-vendor plugfests is now open. So, that means that such leading DOCSIS equipment suppliers as Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Casa Systems Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Hitron Technologies Inc. , Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR), Pace Micro Technology , Ubee Interactive and others can now start lining up.

Want to know more about the new DOCSIS 3.1 spec? Check out our dedicated DOCSIS content channel here on Light Reading.

But what if they held a plugfest and nobody showed up to plug in? In a story Friday, Multichannel News raised that possibility, noting that it's not clear which, if any, vendors will participate in the first D3.1 Interop in early December. None of the usual players has yet confirmed attendance, and one major player, Arris, has already said it will skip the inaugural December event in favor of the second D3.1 Interop in mid-January.

As the Multichannel News piece relates, CableLabs is trying to sweeten the pot by waiving its standard testing fees for at least the first D3.1 Interop. The cable industry R&D group typically charges vendors about $75,000 for testing and certification of cable modems and $25,000 and up for testing and qualification of cable modem termination systems (CMTSs). But there apparently have not been any takers at this early stage.

CableLabs, which expects to start formal certification testing of DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems, wireless gateways and other home equipment in the spring, did not respond to inquiries about the D3.1 Interops before this story was posted. But we'll keep you up to speed as its response comes in.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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