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Changing the HFC vs. Fiber Discussion Could Help Cable MSOs, Says ATX Chief

Illustration of fiber optic cables

Broadband Technology Report – ATX Networks recently released the results of an annual survey of cable MSOs that revealed strong support for upgrading HFC infrastructure rather than overbuilding their footprint with fiber to the premises (see “ATX says HFC evolution survey reveals growing MSO support for DOCSIS 4.0”). The logic behind such a strategy is undoubtedly clear for the cable operators themselves – but maybe not to Wall Street, government authorities, or even their customers. ATX President and CEO Dan Whalen believes that cable operators would be wise to change – or, in some cases, amplify – their messaging to these audiences to give a clearer picture of what 10G HFC infrastructure can do.

“They certainly have to fight the stigma of ‘it’s cable and that means it’s old and it’s not as good,’” said Whalen of cable MSOs during a conversation with BTR. “And I think that they need to really pay attention to branding themselves the right way as a sort of a ‘fiber-plus’ service or ‘even better than fiber’ service.”

The notion that HFC-based offerings are superior to those of all-fiber overbuilders starts with the ubiquity of HFC and the resultant impact on upgrades and service enhancements. “The big difference for cable is they can [deploy upgrades] 10 to 15 times faster. They can get to market faster where they already have their plant deployed and they can do it for a lot cheaper,” Whalen pointed out […]