More good news surfaced Thursday for those waiting for greater cable speeds and bandwidth to better facilitate 8K video streaming (among other things) and beyond.

Comcast, the cable TV and media giant, said it has successfully tested a prototype 10G modem capable of delivering multigigabit speeds to tens of millions of homes.

The tested modem used a full duplex DOCSIS 4.0 FDX system on a chip (SoC) built by Broadcom around the CableLabs protocols to produce upload and download speeds faster than 4 gigabits per second (Gbps) powered by 10G network technology, the company said.

The 10G platform is a combination of technologies being developed to produce cable speeds that are 10 times faster than today’s networks and up to 100 times faster than what many consumers experience today. The global industry initiative is aimed at keeping broadband services a step ahead of consumer demand with new technology capable of dramatically increasing upload and download capacity in coming years.

Comcast’s latest accomplishment was the next in a series of previous 10G technology trials, including an announced complete 10G connection using a virtualized cable modem termination system (vCMTS) powered by DOCSIS 4.0 technology conducted in October.

The company was previously engaged in the first-ever live lab test of a 10G SoC last April. Then, back in October 2020, a trial was conducted delivering 1.25 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) upload and download speeds over a live production network using Network Function Virtualization (NFV) combined with new DOCSIS technology.

A key component of 10G is DOCSIS 4.0, which is was described as “an evolutionary leap forward in the ability to deliver multigigabit upload and download speeds over the connections already installed in hundreds of millions of homes worldwide.”

10G technology builds on the work Comcast said it has done over the past several years to “build a smarter, more virtualized network. In addition to providing a path to multigigabit upload and download speeds at scale, 10G updates will deliver near-term benefits to customers in the form of increased reliability, performance, and lower latency.”

“The great strength of our smart network design is that we are able to exceed our customers’ demands today, even as we continuously evolve to meet the needs of the future,” stated Charlie Herrin, President of Technology, Product, Experience at Comcast Cable.

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The recent modem test utilized the DOCSIS 4.0 FDX SoC device to pair with two cable modem chips to deliver what the company called “breakthrough performance.”

The connection was completed over a lab-based hybrid fibre-coaxial network to the vCMTS operating in DOCSIS 4.0 mode.

The feat marked “the first complete network connection of all-DOCSIS 4.0 components that are required for deployment,” according to the announcement.

The demonstrated speeds were faster than 4 Gbps upload and download and are expected to increase significantly as developers refine technology at every level of the 10G architecture.

“With each new milestone, we get a clearer picture of how 10G technologies will unlock the next generation of speed and performance for millions of people worldwide,” stated Elad Nafshi, Senior Vice President of Next Generation Access Networks at Comcast Cable.

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By Greg Tarr

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