April 25, 2023
ATX ‘2050 Project’ Cable Industry Survey Reveals Growing Momentum for DOCSIS 4.0
Findings from third-annual HFC evolution study indicate increased confidence that DOCSIS 4.0 will help MSOs counter competitive threats from fiber providers
SAN DIEGO, April 25, 2023 – ATX Networks, a global leader in broadband access and media distribution solutions, today announced the results of its latest 2050 Project Survey, unique primary research that charts the long-term evolution of the Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) network and provides MSOs with insights into what their peers are planning when it comes to future technology upgrades and other issues impacting their competitive standing over the next several decades.
Now in its third year, the 2023 edition of the survey uncovered increased support for the Extended Spectrum DOCSIS® (ESD) version of DOCSIS 4.0. The survey also shows an uptick in confidence that the multigigabit-per-second speed and capacity enabled by the newest DOCSIS specifications will provide more than enough firepower for MSOs to fend off Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) players as preeminent suppliers of broadband connectivity well into the future.
“Each year, the survey paints a vivid picture of where the HFC network is headed and the prevailing attitudes of cable professionals as they approach dozens of critical architectural, technology and business decisions.”
“At a time when fiber is often leading the conversation, our 2050 Project celebrates the HFC network and the long-term evolution of the outside plant,” said ATX CTO Jay Lee. “Each year, the survey paints a vivid picture of where the HFC network is headed and the prevailing attitudes of cable professionals as they approach dozens of critical architectural, technology and business decisions. We open survey findings to the entire cable industry to further promote a cooperative spirit that has been the hallmark of this community since its inception.”
This year’s findings in particular underscore the desire of MSOs to minimize regrettable spend by extending the life of existing HFC investments and avoiding unnecessary operational expenditures. Findings indicate that MSOs increasingly recognize that upgrading, rather than overbuilding their networks with fiber, gives them a significant advantage over competitors in terms of cost, time to market and minimizing customer disruptions.
The 2023 edition of the 2050 Project Survey draws on the opinions of nearly 100 cable professionals from roughly 60 organizations, the majority of which are located in North America.
Key findings from the 2023 survey include:
- Almost half (48%) of all respondents say they will activate DOCSIS 4.0 in their HFC networks before the end of 2025
- Nearly 65% of cable industry professionals now say their companies will install DOCSIS 4.0-capable equipment as soon as it is available
- Almost 60% of respondents estimate that the bandwidth enabled by a high-split architecture will keep MSOs competitive for no longer than the next five years
- Only 20% of participants consider FTTH providers to be a significant long-term competitive threat, down from 27% in 2022
- Nearly 80% of survey takers identified modernizing lead-acid battery standby power operations as a priority in the coming year
- In 2023 the percentage of cable professional who estimate that it will take them 20 years or longer to completely replace their HFC networks increased by 8%
Other topics covered in the 2050 Project Survey include adoption rates of Distributed Access Architecture (DAA), requirements for additional intelligence and telemetry capabilities in HFC actives and the methodologies MSOs are using to convert their coaxial plants to PON technology.
In addition to the 2050 Project Survey, ATX regularly consults with its Customer Advisory Board (CAB) to gain insight into the future direction of the cable industry. The ATX CAB, which last convened in late February, includes senior executives from a diverse cross-section of the cable industry, representing operators of multiple sizes and from regions throughout North America, CALA and the rest of the world. The ATX CAB explores challenges and alternative approaches to pressing business issues, offering guidance on ongoing and future ATX product development to ensure solutions are optimized to meet the future requirements of the HFC network and beyond.
“Regular interactions among MSOs and annual insight into HFC evolution trends help to guide the efforts of engineers and others building out future broadband networks,” said Pao Lo, VP Network Engineering at Midco and ATX CAB member. “Midco commends ATX for its efforts to provide a forum for an open exchange of ideas and expertise.”
ATX outside plant experts will be providing analysis of the survey results during an ATX-hosted webinar on Thursday, April 27, at 11 AM EDT.
For more information about ATX’s next-gen outside plant portfolio, please visit www.atx.com.
About ATX Networks
ATX Networks is a global leader in broadband access and media distribution solutions. ATX’s market-leading and award-winning solutions are based on Agile Innovation design principles, enabling communications service providers to futureproof and evolve their networks in lockstep with market demand. ATX partners with the world’s most innovative cable, satellite, fixed telecom, wireless and media broadcast service providers to usher in a new era of ubiquitous gigabit broadband that will meet the communications needs of this generation and the next. For further information, visit ATX at www.atx.com, and follow us on Twitter @ATXNetworksCorp.