CableLabs, Cisco release open source software for cable virtualisation | Cable | News | Rapid TV News
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The US cable TV research and development facility CableLabs has teamed with Cisco to form a new software project for the Remote PHY device (RPD).

To be called OpenRPD, the project was conceived to alleviate the current pressures on global cable operators who need to provide higher bandwidth transport for Internet, video and voice services. In order to address these issues, most operators are opting for standardised, digital and fibre-based solutions that Cisco believes will help them reduce costs and future-proof their technology to support network demands.

The RPD is a physical layer converter commonly located in an optical node of the cable network. This open source software — originally developed by Cisco and hosted at CableLabs — will reside in the Remote PHY Device and will be available to cable operators and RPD vendors around the world. OpenRPD is said to be able to help further interoperability efforts and promote virtualisation techniques to speed time to market with new services. With this new software, says Cisco, legacy optical node vendors will be able to build Remote PHY nodes without restrictions or needing to be experts in the latest cable standards and specs.

“This is open source for cable access. Not only does it help move the industry toward the future architecture but it also enables a new developer community,” explained Dave Ward, Cisco CTO of engineering and chief architect. “Open standards, open source and an open ecosystem community for developers is a key trajectory for networking. We see the Remote PHY architecture and RPD evolving to a more generalised and virtualised architecture that can be applied to all types of access networks.”