More than a decade has passed since Nicholas Negroponte (News - Alert) of MIT Media Lab published his book Being Digital.
Many of us now have smartphones in our pockets and purses. Streaming media has turned many of us into binge-watching zombies and transformed Netflix into an entertainment powerhouse.
Applications rule. The Internet of Things continues to multiply. And augmented and virtual reality appear poised to take our digital experiences to the next level.
As you can see from this conversation, and many others like it, the focus of so many conversations about communications, content, and connectedness is on applications and endpoints. And most of us don’t give the underlying networks that enable all this goodness a second thought – unless there’s a performance problem.
That’s because network operators have done a pretty darned good job at investing in and maintaining their networks to meet demands. And they’re going to have to keep on doing that to keep pace with what’s happening today and with what will happen going forward.
Yet despite all the years we’ve been talking about digital, it’s interesting to note that the bulk of the fiber optics in cable networks today are based on analog technology. Over time, cablecos have squeezed more value out of these assets by doing things like adopting more advanced modulation. But these fibers have limited reach, and are difficult and expensive to configure and care for.
So some cablecos are using digital fiber optics and packet-based technologies to up their games in core networks. Meanwhile they’re looking at Distributed Access Architecture technology for the access part of their networks. DDA supports analog and digital fiber optics, which allows cablecos to move to the future without completely abandoning their existing investments.
These fiber deep solutions, as some refer to them, can enable cablecos to deliver gigabit-speed services that address the application, device, and user needs of today and tomorrow.
Edited by Maurice Nagle