A new report prepared by CTC Technology & Energy for the City of Seattle analyzes the current state of cable broadband technology. The report, titled “The State of the Art and Evolution of Cable Television and Broadband Technology,” documents the need for cable systems to upgrade their network capabilities if they are to keep pace with growing demands, including access to video content, Voice Over IP, and providing wireless carriers with backhaul capacity.
Cable, which utilizes both fiber optic and coaxial components, is the dominant home and business broadband technology in the United States, and represents the main future of broadband for most homes and businesses. New applications and network uses are placing increased demands on the existing commercial cable infrastructure in many communities. This need for growth poses a number of challenges, in part due to the demands of streaming video sites, which provide an alternative source of programming content to the cable operators’ own video services.
The report concludes that the only way to satisfy current and future increases in bandwidth demands is for cable operators to upgrade the IP data components of their systems, and by maintaining neutrality toward online video content. These upgrades, anticipated in the next five years and beyond, are necessary for cable providers to keep pace with other emerging technologies, such as fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP).