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Comcast successfully tests 10G cable modem network

Comcast has successfully tested 10G data transfer on its cable modem network. That’s a step on the road to providing 10-gigabit-per-second internet bandwidth in both directions on its cable network.

Comcast said its team conducted what it believes to be the world’s first test of a 10G connection from the company’s network to a modem. To do this, the team activated a virtualized cable modem termination system (vCMTS) powered by Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0 technology.

Elad Nafshi, senior vice president for next generation networks at Comcast Xfinity, said in an interview with VentureBeat that the company has been working on 10G technology over the past 18 months with the goal of delivering the next generation of speed and performance to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

This week, the company is celebrating the milestone at its annual 10G event at the Virtual SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2021 event. Whatever you think of 10G, it sounds better than 5G, which mobile phone companies are touting as competition for broadband in the home. Competing against new 5G networks isn’t easy for cable companies because cable networks were designed a long time ago to bring TV shows into the home, not the internet, and not at the high speeds available today.

Above: Back in April, Comcast showed it could get 4Gbps duplex internet speeds.

The big advantage of full duplex and other 10G technologies is that they will unlock multigigabit upload and download speeds over connections already installed in homes worldwide, without the need to dig up yards and neighborhoods across the country.

This week’s demonstration, conducted by technologists in Philadelphia and Denver, builds on the 10G milestones announced in April and last October. In the live lab demonstration, Comcast was able to connect all of the key network elements necessary to deliver 10G signals from its network to the neighborhoods and homes of customers.

I asked Nafshi when we could get a rollout of the technology, but he said he wasn’t able to give that estimate, as there is a long road ahead.

In order to complete the full connection, DOCSIS 3.1 modems were configured to operate in the FDX band. Comcast is working with tech partners to develop amplifiers to work in the DOCSIS 4.0 networks.

Back in April, Nafshi talked about the first chips that could serve as nodes on the network.

“It’s pretty exciting to see these things come together,” he said.

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