Evolution to Distributed Access Architectures (DAA)

Video and data capabilities for distributed network evolution

Bandwidth usage continues to grow year-on-year, a trend driven by consumer video consumption from internet video services. Service providers are looking to extend their service offerings to deliver IP video, 4K video, and business services. Meeting network demand—as well as managing practical constraints in their network operations, including physical space, power consumption and cooling in head-end locations—is driving the evolution of the network.

Distributed access architecture (DAA) enables the evolution of cable networks by decentralizing and virtualizing headend and network functions. DAA extends the digital portion of the headend or hub domain out to the fiber-optic node and places the digital-to-RF interface at the optical-coaxial boundary in the node. Replacing the analog optics from the headend converts the fiber link to a digital fiber Ethernet link, increasing the available bandwidth by improving fiber efficiencies (wavelengths and distance) and directional alignment with the NFV/SDN/FTTx systems of the future.

HFC networks are defined by their analog fiber plumbing. DAA replaces analog fiber with IP connections (digital fiber) and creates a software-defined network that supports:

  • Node evolution with remote PHY and remote MAC-PHY
  • Transition to digital optics, removing analog lasers
  • Digital fiber closer to the subscriber’s home
  • Migration to centralized data centers
  • Flexible advertising, channel lineups and bandwidth management


Advantages of a DAA approach

Advantages of a DAA approach

  • Network efficiency
    • Increased network capacity and simpler outside plant maintenance
    • Node evolution with remote PHY, remote MAC-PHY and remote 10G EPON OLT
    • Better end-of-line signal quality, higher modulation rates, higher bit rates
    • Better spectral efficiency, more wavelengths per fiber
  • Operational and capital expenditure benefits
    • Reduced head-end power, space and cooling requirements
    • Hub consolidation
    • Ability to add QAMs without changing the RF combining network
    • Digital fiber “set and forget”
  • IP convergence
    • Extend IP network to the node
    • Alignment with FTTx build-out
    • Ability to leverage standards-based interconnectivity and economies of scale

For service providers, the resources to run additional fiber, implement node splits, and upgrade head-end facilities require significant investment. DAA can be implemented gradually with normal plant and service upgrades and without disrupting legacy services.

With a long-term commitment to the cable industry, CommScope has over 20 years of experience and ongoing development and support in the delivery of broadband and video services:

  • High-speed data
  • CMTS
  • HFC infrastructure
  • Video infrastructure
  • CPE (modems, set-tops, gateways)
  • FTTx transition
  • Back-office support
  • Operational services

Additional resources

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  • Looming Challenges and Potential Solutions for Future Distributed CCAP Architecture Systems

    This paper focuses on the analysis of three sub-classes of Distributed CCAP Architectures (DCAs). The authors describe these DCAs, compare them by operational costs, ease-of-use, infrastructure compatibility, and design simplicity. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of the advantages and disadvantages for each approach.
  • Network Migration Strategies for the Era of DAA, DOCSIS® 3.1 and Full Duplex DOCSIS®

    As network evolution continues at a tremendous rate, MSOs are finding that selecting the right path is no easy task. This paper examines what is driving MSOs to provide multi-gigabit per second service, the technology enablers that will help them deliver those services, and the guiding factors that will help them navigate alternative migration paths. MSOs will need to have a complete toolkit of technology and procedures to aid in network migration and meet their goals and objectives.
  • Data Sheet: Product Flyer - Distributed Access Architecture Services Suite

    This data sheet describes the services available from CommScope Professional Services to help implement a DAA architecture.
  • Cable's Fiber Outlook Survey Report

  • Managing Distributed Access Devices with SDN: Centralized Operations for FIB Management

    This paper focuses on how Software Defined Networking (SDN) can be used as part of a remote CCAP architecture to both provision and manage remote devices. It also demonstrates how centralized SDN controller coordination with today’s back office platforms can be used to orchestrate network resources enabling rapid service deployment throughout the network.
  • A Comparison of Centralized and Distributed Access Architectures for PON

    This paper will define and compare two classes of access architectures that will emerge this decade for Passive Optical Network (PON). It will propose the adoption of multiple wavelength technologies for 10G EPON DPoE systems and examine three types of CAA DPoE systems.
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