A set of specifications for high speed, full duplex (FDX) data communications over CATV networks, DOCSIS was developed by the Multimedia Cable Network Systems Partners Ltd. (MCNS), and currently is administered by Cable Television Laboratories (CableLabs) an industry research and development organization.The original specifications were for set-top boxes and cable modems (CMs). Matching cable modems positioned at the service provider's headend and the customer's premises communicate over a hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network comprising optical fiber, at least in the trunk portion, and embedded coaxial cable from the neighborhood node to the premises. DOCSIS specifications are for always-on Internet access, which avoids the dial-up delays characteristic of circuit-switched modem access via the public switched telephone network (PSTN). DOCSIS also specifies asymmetric data transmission, which is typical of high speed Internet access services. Downstream transmission takes place over one or more 6-MHz channels in the range between 50 MHz and 750-850 MHz. DOCSIS 2.0 specifies several variations of Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). At the lowest level, 64-QAM yields six bits per symbol and a signaling rate of 36 Mbps per 6-MHz channel. Alternatively, 128-QAM yields seven bits per symbol and increases the signaling rate to 42 Mbps, although it is more sensitive to noise.The standards also provide for the use of 256-QAM, which increases the raw signaling rate to 48 Mbps.These variations on QAM are compatible with Moving Picture Experts Group-2 (MPEG-2), the compression technique specified for digital video transmission in CATV networks. Downstream data is encapsulated into MPEG-2 packets of 188 bytes. Upstream transmission, in early DOCSIS versions, is supported over 6-MHz channels in the range between 5 MHz and 42 MHz for United States systems, and 8-MHz channels in the range between 5 MHz and 65 MHz for European systems.The channels each support a signaling rate of 12 Mbps through use of the quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) modulation technique. DOCSIS 1.1 specifies 16-QAM, which roughly doubles the data rate, and doubles the channel width. DOSCIS 2.0 further increases the upstream rate by again doubling the channel width, and using either time division multiple access (TDMA) in combination with 64-QAM or synchronous code division multiple access (S-CDMA) in combination with 128-QAM trellis-coded modulation (TCM). See also 128-QAM, 16-QAM, 256-QAM, 64-QAM, always on, asymmetric, byte, CableLabs, cable modem, CMTS, coaxial cable, compression, downstream, encapsulate, FDX, headend, HFC, modulation, MPEG-2, noise, packet, PSTN, QAM, QPSK, S-CDMA, set-top box, signaling rate, symbol, and upstream.
(Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) A cable modem standard from the CableLabs research consortium (www.cablelabs.com), which provides equipment certification for interoperability. DOCSIS supports IP traffic (Internet traffic) over digital cable TV channels, and most cable modems are DOCSIS compliant. Originally formed by four major cable operators and managed by Multimedia Cable Network System, management of the project was later turned over to CableLabs. DOCSIS 1.x, 2.0 and 3.0 The first versions of DOCSIS (1.0, 1.1 and 2.0) provided a maximum downstream speed of approximately 40 Mbps with upstream speeds of 10 Mbps for Versions 1.x and 30 Mbps for DOCSIS 2.0. Introduced in 2006, DOCSIS 3.0 added channel bonding. The minimum number of channels that are coupled is four, providing maximum downstream/upstream speeds of 160/120 Mbps. In practice, all this bandwidth is shared among neighboring subscribers. See cable modem, EuroDOCSIS, eDOCSIS, CMTS and S-CDMA.