IP video

Cable's All-IP Shift Will Drag On

North American cable operators are now working frantically to upgrade their RF networks to all-IP service delivery, but most cable industry observers don't believe that this historic transition will be completed any time soon, if ever.

In our recent Light Reading community poll, the biggest portion of readers said they think the all-IP shift will take at least another four years to carry out and quite possibly much longer. Plus, a sizable number said they believe that the transition will never be fully carried out, due to one hurdle or another.

Specifically, more than 35% of you said the industry's all-IP upgrade won't happen until 2018 or later. So the expectation is that the painful, time-consuming, and costly transition will drag on through at least most of this decade.

That total is a hair more than the 35% of the sample who believe the all-IP transition will be completed by the close of 2017. A mere 3% believe the transition will be completed this year and just 8% believe it will be completed next year.

Perhaps even more notably, some 30% of you don't believe that cable's IP upgrade will ever be completed, saying that it will simply never happen. That reveals a great deal of doubt about the industry's ability to carry out probably its most pressing mandate.

In all, then, 65% of readers think the all-IP transition will take at least four more years or will never happen. The poll drew a strong response on the Light Reading website, attracting more than 1,700 votes over a one-month span.

Leading cable technologists don't necessarily disagree with at least some of these results. Most have said that it could take the rest of the decade or more for cable operators to convert their systems to all-IP delivery networks. But they would insist that cable providers will get there eventually, however long it might take.

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

jabailo 5/12/2014 | 12:56:06 PM
Re: Never Happen Well they better hurry.

I've been looking at remote, rural homes, because of cost.

For me, the biggest drawback has been lack of Internet options.  Satellite has come down a lot in cost, but the data caps are too tight (5Gig?).   That leaves cable, wireless, DSL and optical.   DSL only works 14,000 feet from a CO, so rural homes would fall out of range.   Wireless broadband is only in cities and dense suburbs.   That leaves optical and cable, and optical also seems to be mostly in suburbs (not even in the older parts of cities and not in rural ares).

But just recently, and from talking to others, CenturyLink, the state telco, and optical fiber provider has been bringing 7Mbps and 10Mbps speeds to the Boondocks as DSL.   I'm researching this, but I'm wondering if they're using fiber trunks to connect as DSL using twisted pair, reducing the length that the signal runs on twisted.

albreznick 5/12/2014 | 12:44:26 PM
Never Happen To me, the most interesting poll result is that 30% of our readers think cable will never completely pull off the current IP transition. Not a lot of faith there. Is that because the hurdles are so great or cable operators just aren't up to the job? Wondering what our readers think.    
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