ARRIS Unveils 4.5Gbps Cable Technology

Brad Chacos

Pepsi vs. Coke. McDonalds vs. Burger King. HBO vs. Showtime. Every Superman has his equally capable (if somewhat lumpy faced) Bizarro Superman, and in the consumer Internet world, it's the tale of DSL/Fiber Optic vs. Cable. After Comcast fired the opening volley with those lovable TV turtles, the Slowskys, the aggrieved DSL crowd fired back with blazing fast fiber optic networks. Cable's response? Fiber optic, shmiber optic. Today, cable equipment provider ARRIS is unveiling new technology designed to blow the current fiber optic networks out of the water by delivering 4.5Gbps download speeds.

Before you get too excited, you should know that this is only a proof-of-concept test, which basically means "We can do this," not "We're doing this." ARRIS plans on achieving 4.5Gbps down/575Mbps down speeds by allotting more DOCSIS cable channels for broadband – 128 downstream and 24 upstream, to be exact – and having them work in concert to achieve the unprecedented speeds. Sure, this leaves less room for normal television channels, but as long as people keep watching Netflix, Hulu and other IPTV services, the need for faster connections is more important than a 15th golf network.

The demonstration is set to occur today at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's "Cable Show 2011" in Chicago.

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