Charter Communications' CEO Tom Rutledge recently spoke at the Citi Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas where he shared some of his thoughts on the future of cable broadband, notably speed.
Rutledge said symmetrical 10 Gbps cable broadband should happen in the not too distant future. This is on the back of the development of full duplex technology, which CableLabs is looking to get into trials by the end of 2017.
Currently, cable firms such as Charter, utilise asymmetrical speeds where upstream speeds are slower than downstream ones, currently around 10 Gbps down and 2 Gbps up.
Full duplex will offer faster symmetrical data in both directions, typically 10 Gbps up and down, by using the same spectrum for signals in both directions. This will require cable operators to push fibre deeper into their networks, migrating to passive access networks.is
The primary benefit of utilising full duplex is efficiency. Prior to this, downstream and upstream data had to take turns in accessing bandwidth which is heavily biased towards offering faster downstream speeds at the expense of lower upstream speeds. Using the same spectrum simultaneously doubles the efficiency of spectrum use and facilitates ultra-fast symmetrical speeds.
Some of the vendors working on developing this technology are Cisco, Arris, Casa, and Nokia.
This is a further innovation of the D3 standard and means cable firms really are leading the way ahead of telco firms sweating copper assets or not investing enough in fibre.