RealTime IT News

First Retail-Ready Cable Modems Certified

Cable Television Laboratories (CableLabs) has certified for retail sale high-speed cable modems from Thomson Consumer Electronics and Toshiba.  The modems are certified to adhere to CableLabs' DOCSIS standard.  

This is a significant milestone because, instead of leasing proprietary cable modems from cable operators, consumers now can purchase standardized, interoperable modems through the retail channel. Since there are no significant standards competing with the DOCSIS standard, the way is much clearer now for Internet-over-cable.

Modems from other vendors are expected to receive certification soon, according to CableLabs.  Certified modems will have a "CableLabs Certified" seal, which indiates that the modems will operate on multiple headends that are being deployed by a large number of North American cable operators.  Put differently, certified cable modems have a high likelihood of working with any cable vendor in the nation that makes the Internet available to subscribers.

"The cable modem initiative is a real jump-start for an important new business, said Joseph J. Collins, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable and a member of the CableLabs Board and Executive Committee. "It will help drive down the cost of this technology for consumers and the cable industry, and make our high-speed online business available to people more quickly,"

The CableLabs certification process focused on how well vendors' cable modem and headend equipment adhered to the defined interface specifications. The standard cable modem architecture now has high-speed data capability of up to 38 million bits per second throughput per standard cable channel.

CableLabs is the research and standard-setting arm of the cable industry.