Cable has its obvious advantages, but one of its longstanding disadvantages has been the imbalance between downstream and upstream speeds. Even with the upcoming DOCSIS 3.1 standard, the downstream speed is expected to reach 10 Gbps, while the upstream speed lags at a comparatively snail-like 1 Gbps. However, there are hints that Full-Duplex DOCSIS 3.1—a solution to that deficiency—is finally in the works.
Full-duplex systems, which feature symmetry between upstream and downstream speeds, have been hard to implement due to technical hurdles, but the industry has been working to overcome them. “The ecosystem support for the Full-Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 technology has been staggering, with many vendors collaborating and contributing to the development of the technology,” notes an industry insider. “A recent example is Cisco’s contribution of a new silicon reference design of a digital echo canceler that maximizes the use of HFC capacity to provide a scalable multi-gigabit return path.” More details concerning Full-Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 should be available by the middle of 2017