Millions of cable subscribers throughout the United States access the Internet via residential cable modems. These modems connect to hybrid fiber coaxial cables, which terminate at a piece of equipment — a CMTS — typically located in a cable company’s headend.
In recent years, cable operators have been working on new technology that has more functionality than the CMTS — the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP). The CCAP technology combines the Internet functionality of the CMTS with video encoding and transmitting functionality known as quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). This is important for cable companies, because they deliver both Internet and video services.
But Timon Sloane, who is the vice president of standards and membership with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), says a number of use cases have been developed in the Residential-CORD (R-CORD) project. And one of those use cases is a virtual CMTS, which is being worked on by Comcast.
Big providers of CMTS and CCAP equipment include Cisco, Huawei, and Arris. In 2016, Nokia acquired the startup Gainspeed, which is working on a virtual form of CCAP, according to Multichannel News.