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Cable Modems Cable modems emerged in consumer markets as an alternative to ISDN and regular modems only a couple of years ago Promises like speed up 30 Mbps to connect to the internet sounds very attractive given that the service charge is only 35-55 a month But the whole thing has been overhyped in my opinion none of the cable companies mention that the subscribers share the bandwidth plus most cable modems use 10BaseT interface to connect to the PC or Mac which automatically limits the connection to 10 Mbps Another limitation of cable modems is that ISPs are connected to the internet back-bone using T1 lines which puts an absolute limits on speed of cable connection to 15 Mbps The cable modem access network operates at Layer 1 physical and Layer 2 media access controllogical link control of the Open System Interconnect OSI Reference Model Thus Layer 3 network protocols such as IP traffic can be seamlessly delivered over the cable modem platform to end-users Since cable modem technology is very recent the conflict exists between different standards The only specification that has been approved by ITU in 1998 is DOCSIS Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications which was developed by MCNS CabeLabs Arthur D Little and consortium of North American MCOs Later that year CableLabs established certification program that would ensure interoperability among the equipment from different vendors Certified cable modems are expected to appear in second quarter of 1999 While waiting for the certificates vendor already started to develop the products that would meet new DOCSIS specification version 11 not finalized yet Also MCNS together with Broadcom and Terayon are working on implementing an IEEE 80214 endorsed advanced PHY technology into the DOCSIS spec The emerging standard will be known as DOCSIS 12 The technology will provide a more robust upstream and enable support for more business class applications DOCSIS 10 is able to have download speed 27-36 Mbps
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