Six Ways to Deploy Broadband Services: Part 2

James Donovan_new James Donovan April 17, 2017

Deploying Fiber_FOSCConsumers are accessing the Internet in various ways. In my previous blog, I showcased three basic broadband technologies consumers are using—DSL, satellite and wireless. Each have positives and negatives, but for some of them, it depends on location and the operator’s reach.

In this blog, I will provide you with the final three technology choices for deploying broadband services to the end customer—, DOCSIS and optical fiber. – New Kid on the Copper Block is an access technology developed to extend the life of copper beyond a Gigabit. This technology targets brownfield deployments as a fiber alternative that re-uses existing copper infrastructure in homes and other buildings.


  • It is an alternative to the higher cost and slower rollout of fiber in brownfield scenarios
  • It requires relatively quick rollout and return on investment


  • Distances are limited; equipment must reside close to the end user to produce a Gigabit of bandwidth
  • Crosstalk affects performance; without vectoring noise cancellation, rates are severely degraded

Still, achieving Gigabit speeds makes a viable technology for service providers seeking higher bandwidth delivery in brownfield situations.

DOCSIS® – Positioned to Compete

DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) is an international telecom standard used by many cable television operators to provide high-speed data or Internet services over existing hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) infrastructures. Similar to the DSL, fiber is run to a node where the signal is transferred from the fiber to coaxial cable and extended to the customer in a direct line to the home.


  • With release of a Gigabit standard for DOCSIS, this technology meets present day bandwidth requirements
  • In some parts of the world, it is less susceptible to damage from natural disasters, as nodes are located above ground on power poles


  • A power source is required within the outside plant
  • It remains a copper-based technology with the ultimate bandwidth limitations that implies

With the popularity of premium cable television and bundled video, data and phone services, DOCSIS should continue to enable cable television providers to remain competitive for as long as it can meet rising bandwidth requirements.

Optical Fiber – Bandwidth Potentially Unlimited

Optical fiber is still superior in its ability to deliver near-limitless bandwidth. Properly designed, once the service provider deploys optical fiber, bandwidth capacity is likely sufficient for the next hundred years. This makes fiber the best choice for greenfield applications, but also a huge consideration in many brownfield situations where current technologies are approaching bandwidth limitations.


  • No power requirements are needed between the central office and the end user
  • It has virtually “limitless” bandwidth potential -- only capped by architecture chosen and that architecture’s ability to migrate to newer optical technologies
  • High reliability
  • Easy migration path for equipment and technology upgrades


  • Higher costs associated with brownfield deployment
  • Longer roll-out times
  • Slower returns on investment
  • Challenges with reaching scattered or rural populations

No matter the deployment or connectivity, CommScope offers a breadth of solutions to solve any operator’s broadband needs. The demand for bandwidth increases every day and operators know they must continue to provide the speeds and reliability their subscribers have come to expect.

SEE MORE: There’s No Limit to What Fiber Can Do

About the Author

James Donovan_new

James Donovan

James Donovan is Vice President of the CommScope Infrastructure Academy. James joined CommScope in 1993 and has held positions in Sales, Technical, Marketing, Training and Business Development and served most recently as VP of Digital and Creative Services for CommScope. James oversees the CommScope Infrastructure Academy, which is CommScope’s partner and customer training platform. Prior to joining the company, he held positions at GEC, ITT and Alcatel. He holds a Masters Degree in Engineering and a BSc Honors degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.