The 2050 Project
Let’s Get Started
The mid-point of the current century is 30 years away. While that seems like an eternity in Internet years, it’s roughly the same amount of time that MSOs have already invested in building out their Hybrid Fiber-Coax networks. The 2050 Project, a new outside plant initiative from ATX, is a long-term strategy for doubling the longevity of current HFC networks, enabling MSOs to migrate their massive coaxial cable plants to fiber in the most cost-effective manner possible and without surrendering their dominance in broadband service delivery.
This site contains everything you need for a complete understanding and exploration of the 2050 Project, including links to thought-leadership white papers and other collateral, news articles and information about innovative products that offer MSOs the agility to start building their networks of the future today.
Think Big. Go Long.
Fiber is the future. But replacing millions of miles of coax will take decades – and cost billions. The only way MSOs can manage the long-term migration to an all-fiber infrastructure without falling behind competitively is through incremental boosts of bandwidths to customers served by HFC networks. A two-part information series from ATX takes MSOs through the risks of capping your HFC network at 10G and the best way to evolve your network to meet the communications requirements of the next several decades. It also offers an element-by-element evaluation of the readiness of current HFC infrastructures to support frequency upgrades beginning at 1.8GHz.
MSOs are now grappling with the exorbitant costs of taking fiber deep into the HFC network, let alone all the way to homes and businesses. Some are even running into logistical issues, like shortages of skilled labor and overcoming onerous permitting requirements, that place limits on how quickly MSOs can infuse their infrastructures with fiber. The chart below illustrates the relative cost differences between moving to a Node+0 or even a Node+2 architecture to achieve additional capacity versus an Extended Spectrum DOCSIS® (ESD) approach. The chart is from a 2019 white paper, Upgrading the Plant to Solve Traffic Demands, presented by a Shaw Communications engineer at the 2019 SCTE Tec-Expo Conference.
Is Coax Capable?
Coaxial cable is a modern marvel that actually originated in the 19th century. Its ironclad design made it the logical choice for the first transcontinental cable, way back in 1858. Since then, cable operators have threaded millions of miles of coax into neighborhoods around the world. Just one US MSO alone estimates that it manages 700,000 miles of coax. That’s enough to circle the Earth about 25 times! While coax cannot match fiber’s raw capacity potential, its advantages in coverage, convenience and cost justify further investment. Still, despite coax’s ubiquity and resiliency, MSOs worried that much of their installed base would not be able to support spectrum upgrades to 2GHz or higher. Those concerns were quelled in the summer of 2019 thanks to live testing involving two North American MSOs and CableLabs, which you can read about in the two blogs featured below.
2050 Project: The Survey
On a mission to capture first-hand knowledge of cable operators’ plans for evolving their HFC networks, ATX Networks earlier this year conducted the 2050 Project Survey. The results of our research, which captures the current attitudes of cable industry professionals about the adoption of DOCSIS 4.0, spectrum splits, frequency upgrades, competitive concerns and more, are available here. Nothing beats knowing what your peers are planning and the 2050 Project Survey Report is your only source for tapping into the long-term technology adoption strategies of nearly 100 cable industry professionals.
Watch a replay of the 2050 Project Survey: Analysis & Results webinar, originally webcast on April 21. This 55-minute video unveils the survey’s top findings, accompanied by insights and analysis from ATX outside plant experts Jay Lee and Mike Whitley.
Bandwidth: The Insatiable Quest
It is said that you can never be too thin or have too much money. An axiom that might be more relevant to MSOs is the truism that you can never have too much bandwidth. The high-speed broadband pipe, regardless of how broad, is one that is destined to fill up. Technologists can only speculate about how much bandwidth will be required to deliver the Matrix-like communications environments that futurists are predicting over the next several decades, or the capacity needed to support the total transition of major industries, such as medicine and education, to the digital realm. Peruse the below collateral for a more detailed look at what a not-to-distant communications future might look like.
Welcome to the Gigabit Generation
Discover why Gigabit broadband will be a catalyst for a digital makeover of entire industries
The Near-Future from CableLabs
Explore a near-future communications landscape envisioned by CableLabs
When will 10G of Bandwidth Not be Enough?Learn More
Hybrid Fiber-Coax: The Next 30 Years
Given future bandwidth demands, MSOs should probably count on needing to boost the capacity of much of their HFC network beyond 10Gbps to remain competitive during their transition to an all-fiber infrastructure. No one can say for sure how much bandwidth will do the trick, but several technologists have projected that coax cable plants are theoretically capable of supporting bandwidth speeds of 50Gbps or faster, as depicted in the below chart. The graphic “Evolution of the HFC Network” provides a potential comparison of the first three decades of the HFC network and the next three.
Even though the mid-century mark is 30 years away, MSOs can immediately start building out their next-gen HFC networks. Before you break ground, though, why not do a little prep work? For a complete rundown of what you’ll need to get your 2050 Project off the ground, watch the webinar The 2050 Project: A New Era of Outside Plant Evolution. It’s an A-to-Z exploration of what MSOs should be thinking about, in terms of products, roadmaps and best practices, as they begin to plot out the futures of their HFC plants.
If you’re constructing a network today that will still be relevant in 2050, you better start with building blocks that are adaptable to incremental increases in spectrum and that can be upgraded with a minimal number of truck rolls. ATX designed its GigaXtend™ family of next-gen outside plant equipment for the long haul. The only 3GHz-capable outside plant portfolio on the market, GigaXtend is designed to evolve with market demand and reduce respacing to a minimum.
ATX Networks Unveils GigaXtend Next-Generation, Outside Plant Portfolio
Industry’s first 3GHz-ready HFC product portfolio includes node, amplifiers and hardline taps and passives
Start Building the HFC Network of the Future – TodayLearn More
The GigaXtend GMC Series amplifier portfolio is built on a trusted and well-regarded technology foundation, providing ATX with the opportunity to offer cable operators a seamless evolutionary path to spectrum ranges of 1.8GHz, 3GHz and higher.Learn More
The GigaXtend™ family of taps injects immediate cost and performance benefits into existing HFC networks, as well as positions cable operators to seamlessly extend the bandwidth capabilities of their HFC networks to 2GHz and beyond.Learn More
Accept No Substitutes
Knockoff versions of authentic products are everywhere, and it’s always wise to be wary of sales pitches that start off with “Pssst.” ATX entered a licensing agreement with Cisco® in early 2020 and is now the only maker of authorized GainMaker®-compatible amplifiers. Read the blog to better understand why you should accept no substitutes when it comes to imitation GainMaker-compatible amplifiers.
In The News
"Cisco shifts next-gen cable amp business to ATX Networks"
ATX set to build Cisco GainMaker-compatible amps.READ THE ARTICLE
"ATX opens next chapter in its cable network story"
ATX Unveils GigaXtend family of nodes, amps and passives.VIEW ONLINE ARTICLE
ATX looks to DOCSIS 4.0 and beyond
ATX Networks has introduced its GigaXtend family of outside plant equipment, a lineup of active and passive components designed to help cable operators extend the longevity of ...VIEW ONLINE ARTICLE