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Top Portuguese Cable Operator Picks C-COR

Michael Harris
LR Cable News Analysis
Michael Harris
9/26/2006

TV Cabo, Portugal's largest cable operator, says it has deployed C-COR's CableEdge network resource and bandwidth management software for IP data and voice services. TV Cabo counts 1.4 million video customers, more than 350,000 broadband Internet subscribers, and is rolling out VOIP services, too.

Unlike resource management solutions that operate at the IP layer, C-COR's platform monitors traffic utilization at the DOCSIS layer of the network, correlating both RF and data traffic metrics. (See C-COR Adds Bandwidth QoS Capabilities.)

In an interview this past summer, Bob Cruickshank, C-COR's vice president of worldwide OSS strategy and product management, said CableEdge is now used by MSOs to manage more than 10 million DOCSIS devices worldwide, equal to some 17 percent of cable modems installed globally. He said C-COR's software performs 1,000 calculations per device, per hour, or a total of 10 billion hourly across its customer footprint.

What are they finding in the field? "We've seen network congestion on the rise," Cruickshank said, to the tune of 600 percent over a one-year period in a major metro market cable system. As a result, he argues, MSOs are eager for solutions "to mitigate the congestion they're experiencing, not just sell QoS (quality-of-service) to heavy users" -- in other words, creating and implementing policies that prevent heavy users from degrading the Internet service experience of typical customers.

The major culprit continues to be peer-to-peer traffic. Interestingly, Cruickshank says C-COR has found that 20 percent to 40 percent of the P2P traffic on DOCSIS cable modem networks stays on the same CMTS segment. This trend, he says, favors bandwidth management solutions that operate at the DOCSIS layer, rather than IP service control solutions.

With this intelligence in hand, MSOs can better load-balance traffic on individual CMTS units, potentially avoiding costly port upgrades. "The service control switch never sees this, because it's installed north of the CMTS," Cruickshank said.

- Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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