Comcast launches Low Latency DOCSIS field trials ahead of expected deployment

June 22, 2023
The service provider says it is conducting the trials in collaboration with Apple, NVIDIA, and Valve ahead of anticipated deployment of the technology by the end of this year.

Comcast has revealed via a blog that it has kicked off what it asserts are the first field trials of low latency DOCSIS (LLD). The service provider says it is conducting the trials in collaboration with Apple, NVIDIA, and Valve ahead of anticipated deployment of the technology by the end of this year.

The trials enable app developers to mark traffic as latency sensitive using such open guidelines as RFC 9330, 9331, and 9332. The LLD-enabled network, via a new data packet processing function, will then manage the flows associated with those apps to optimize application performance via lower latency transmission. CableLabs’ LLD standard implements the Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF’s) Low Latency Low Loss Scalable Throughput (L4S) open standards. Apple demonstrated the benefits of L4S for videoconferencing at its recent Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The Comcast blog cites NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW cloud gaming as another app whose performance LLD will enhance.

Comcast subscribers participating in the trial will need the latest Xfinity 10G Gateway (XB7 and XB8 models) or own an Arris S33 or Netgear CM1000v2 gateway to experience the difference LDD is expected to make. The blog did not reveal where the trials are taking place or how long they will last.

However, the blog did state that Comcast plans to make application marking for LDD “entirely voluntary and available for use with no special cost, agreement, or proprietary APIs.” The service provider is soliciting participation from other app developers who may be interested in leveraging LDD.

About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director & Associate Publisher

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, DOCSIS technology, and more.

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