The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed cable and telecom companies to directly compete with each other. Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) enabled the cable industry to provide high speed data and voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP).
The competition over the past 20 years has found the cable industry gaining market share as the telecom industry is struggling to keep up.
The question is will DOCSIS 4.0 and future versions of DOCSIS be able to keep up with the telecom industry’s focus on fiber deployment?
Optical Fiber is the winner from a physics standpoint as it is inherently easier to provide higher bandwidths in fiber. Both cable operators and telecom operators are deploying fiber.
DOCSIS is a clear winner in this category due to the fact that more than 90% of the homes in the U.S. have coax already installed. In addition, fiber is the costliest option in both installation and implementation.
Coax has an inherent reliability issue due to the mechanical and environmental degradation and failures that occur with a coaxial infrastructure. Studies have shown that fiber costs five times less per mile than coax to maintain. If there are fewer problems with a fiber network, the end users are less likely to experience problems due to infrastructure impairments which translates directly into more satisfied customers.
Currently the emphasis is on DOCSIS 4.0 with cost being the main reason. The future holds an interesting transition. Will it be Coax as new transmission technologies are developed to increase bandwidth or as the cost of fiber materials and installation to the subscriber’s home/office decrease will the dominant transport become fiber to home and office.
When evaluating your business’s needs for connectivity, ChoiceTel can help you run the full gambit – from identifying the underlay to procuring and supporting the connection.