MARCH 31, 2008 -- The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE; search for SCTE) recently launched development of a suite of technical industry standards to support wider use of optical fiber in the cable plant.
Focused on a technology called RF over Glass, the standards will enable cable systems to expand their use of optical fiber while continuing to deliver current cable services and technologies, including DOCSIS.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited SCTE Standards Program is directed by the SCTE Engineering Committee, which approved the RF over Glass work program last fall and assigned the program's projects to the SCTE Interface Practices Subcommittee (IPS) for development as industry standards. The IPS Subcommittee then met in mid-March near SCTE headquarters in Exton (suburban Philadelphia), PA, to begin crafting the standards.
Once developed and approved as standards, RF over Glass will greatly broaden the SCTE Standards Program's footprint concerning optical fiber. SCTE currently has two approved standards in this area: ANSI/SCTE 122 2006, "SCTE Recommended Optical Fiber Cable Types for Outside Plant Drop Applications," and ANSI/SCTE 86 2005, "SCTE Recommended Optical Fiber Cable Types for Outside Plant Trunk and Distribution Applications."
Part of IPS's RF over Glass focus in the early going has been on a document titled IPS SP 910, "RF over Glass System Overview." This working document addresses DOCSIS and cable television's hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) systems, an environment where data and video share the same RF spectrum.
Other points of focus for IPS concerning RF over Glass are:
- specification for performance of fiber-optic passive splitters and directional couplers
- specification for fiber-optic passive filters
- specification for RF over Glass gateway RF levels
- specification for RF over Glass gateway operation: burst transmitter RF input trigger power-level range specification
- specification for RF over Glass gateway optical input and output RF levels and wavelengths
- RF over Glass gateway environmental requirements
- recommended practices for mid-split cable equipment and system operations.
SCTE standards cover a wide range of industry needs from F-connectors to protocols for high-speed data access over cable and Digital Program Insertion (DPI). In addition to its ANSI accreditation, the SCTE Standards Program is recognized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).