VIDEO Watch WHS Band and 7th 8th Grade Band Winter Concert

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington High School Marching Band and Jazz Band, plus the 7th and 8th grade band, held their Winter Concert on Thursday, December 13 in the Wilmington High School Auditorium.Wilmington Community Television was on hand to cover the concert. Watch it below:—Video Playerhttps://objects-us-east-1.dream.io/wilmington/5/8/6/5/c/b/5865cb20-40b0-4e33-b3d3-42788774ee291544887028.650%2B49669727.694%40castus4-wilmington%2B15448899201544888122398143.vod.720p.20181213_Winter%20Concerts%202018_WHS%20Band%20Jazz%20Band%207th%208th%20Grade.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://objects-us-east-1.dream.io/wilmington/5/8/6/5/c/b/5865cb20-40b0-4e33-b3d3-42788774ee291544887028.650%2B49669727.694%40castus4-wilmington%2B15448899201544888122398143.vod.720p.20181213_Winter%20Concerts%202018_WHS%20Band%20Jazz%20Band%207th%208th%20Grade.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Watch WHS Band and 7th & 8th Grade Band Winter ConcertIn “Videos”VIDEO: Watch 2019 Wilmington Pops ConcertIn “Videos”VIDEO: Watch 2019 Wilmington Spring Band FestivalIn “Videos”last_img read more

Baltimore Public Schools Budget Fight Looms

first_imgBy Deborah Bailey, Special to the AFROThe battle for Baltimore City Public Schools System (BCPSS) is expected to heat up as the 2018-2019 FY budgeting process enters its final phase.  Sonja Santelises, City Schools CEO, will present the estimated 1.3 billion operating budget to the School Board April 24, followed by a series of city-wide information meetings about next year’s budget starting April 25.Parents and education advocates have increasingly expressed concern over a lack of systematic parent and community involvement in procedural and policy-making processes of the City’s public schools this year.Despite concerns expressed by parent and community advocates, the BCPSS board voted to change the city’s fair student funding formula earlier this year. The Board voted to change dollar allocations to traditional public schools based on poverty levels rather than standardized test-scores.School officials said the school funding formula was revised to allot more money to high-poverty schools, but education advocates expressed concern that changes were being pushed through without the community having a voice in how the funding would be used.“Why not wait until we get more input from parents on how to best allocate those new resources?” said Marietta English, Baltimore Teachers Union President.“Why not take more time to look at all of the revenues that contribute to what could, and should, be a well-rounded Fair Student Funding Model,” English asked school board members.For months Khalilah Harris, a BCPSS parent, community advocate and founding co-chair of the Coalition of Black Leaders in Education, has also expressed concern over BPCSS’ lack of process to involve parents and community advocates.“The Coalition of Black Leaders in Education will be monitoring Baltimore City School System’s community engagement process for building a budget that supports high levels of family and community engagement and expands access to opportunity by addressing racial inequity,” Harris said regarding the group’s involvement in this year’s budget process.School officials have conceded that until the Kirwan Commission changes the state funding formula for public schools, Baltimore City Schools still are not operating with enough money.  The State appointed Kirwan Commission provided preliminary guidance for critical changes needed in K-12 education to make Maryland’s education system nationally competitive earlier this year.The Commission deferred specific fiscal recommendations until late 2018. Public policy analysts have offered that the Commission sought to ensure their fiscal recommendations were not politicized in the 2018 state election cycle. The Kirwan Commission is expected to recommend substantive expansion of the current state K-12 education funding formula. Some estimates have indicated that Maryland needs to spend at least $2.9 billion more each year on K-12 education for all students to have access to a high-quality education, with much of that figure coming from the State.The upcoming BCPSS community-budget meetings will include an overview of how BCPSS plans to allocate funding for student transportation, special education services, administrative services and other district-wide expenses.BCPSS School Board will vote on the final 2018-2019 budget at its May 8 meeting. Community budget meeting dates/locations are as follows:April 25Bentalou Recreation Center222 N. Bentalou StreetBaltimore 21223April 26The Y in Waverly900 E. 33rd StreetBaltimore 21218April 30Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School #237231 S. Eaton StreetBaltimore 21224May 1Board Forum at City Schools’ District Office200 E. North AvenueBaltimore 21202May 2Liberty Recreation Center3901 Maine AvenueBaltimore 21207May 3Arundel Elementary/Middle School2400 Round RoadBaltimore 21225last_img read more

BJP cant win polls by conducting riots playing communal card

first_imgKharagpur: In a scathing attack on BJP, Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee said the party cannot win the Lok Sabha elections by conducting riots, playing the communal card or highlighting fake nationalism.He was addressing a mammoth rally here on Tuesday afternoon. “BJP is trying to win the elections by conducting riots or by using fake nationalism. Bengal has a different culture and no one can gain anything here by playing the communal card,” he said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBanerjee alleged that the BJP leaders who are coming for election campaigns are all harping on the communal agenda to divide the Hindu and Muslim communities. “BJP sells Hinduism to win elections and with this in mind, spreads hatred against the Muslims. This is most unfortunate. Religion is private and in social life our only philosophy is to serve the people,” he added. Banerjee said the 2019 Lok Sabha election is “not a fight between Trinamool and BJP. It is a fight between Bengal’s rich tradition and culture on one side and the Centre’s extortion on the other.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHe alleged that BJP has looted the country in the past five years. “You will not hear a single word from them on note ban which was implemented to stop black money and terrorism. BJP does not say anything on the hasty implementation of GST either, along with farmer suicides and why 2 crore people lost their jobs. They only talk on religion to incite one community against the other,” the Trinamool Youth Congress president stated. Banerjee urged people to cast their votes in favour of party nominee Manas Bhuniya. “Undivided Midnapore had played a major role in the freedom movement. In 2019, the district will play a major role in driving out the Modi government. On May 23 when the ballot boxes will be opened, people will see that Trinamool Congress has bagged 42 out of 42 seats,” he said. He also urged people to visit the polling stations early and exercise their franchise.last_img read more

Empower Your Team to Be More Productive with This Intuitive Tool

first_img 3 min read Register Now » Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. January 30, 2019 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. A successful business is sort of like a Big Mac in that it relies on a secret sauce to pull all the fixins together. In this case, that “secret sauce” comes in the form of effective, teamwide collaboration and communication.Teams can take all sorts of approaches to concocting the metaphorical sauce recipe that works best for them. As a manager, maybe you organize bi-weekly check-in meetings, send out teamwide progress emails every morning, organize daily scrums and communications training sessions, or abide by an open-door policy to encourage transparency. And to be sure, all of these approaches can improve collaboration so that you make deadlines and centralize workplace processes. But are they really unlocking your team’s true potential for productivity in the most intuitive, convenient sense?Say hello to monday.com, the team management tool that can help you do just that. The platform was launched in 2014 with the intention of fostering a culture where team members aren’t just productive, but feel like they’re part of something bigger than their job description. This sense of ownership and empowerment cultivates a productive environment where individuals stay engaged and on top of their work, all while using a product they love.To see its vision through, monday.com places both teamwide projects and individual duties on a simple (but not simplified) task board that serves as a beautiful, centralized space for managing and streamlining different workflows. Tasks’ progress are visualized as colorful columns, which can be tagged to monitor progress and inscribed with notes for additional context. You’re also given the option of integrating other productivity services like Dropbox, Slack, Google Calendar, and Trello within monday.com to further streamline your workflow and organize your files. (Custom integrations can be set up, too — just reach out to one of monday.com’s certified partners for more information and a quote.)Image Credit: monday.commonday.com’s format is unique in that everyone gets the same view, which increases transparency for employees, allows managers to easily distribute resources, and — perhaps most importantly — breaks down silos between different departments. With monday.com, you’re not just collaborating on initiatives, but fostering a culture where everyone feels invested in them.So go ahead — scrap those clunky Excel files, put the whiteboard in storage, and cancel tedious team meetings that no one actually finds useful. Whether you’re a team of two freelancers or a global institution of more than 2,000 individuals, tech-savvy or otherwise, you’ll be able to see the big picture on monday.com’s beautiful, flexible, and scalable dashboard.By signing up for monday.com, you’ll join a community of more than 35,000 paying teams, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, that includes the likes of NBC, WeWork, and Uber. Don’t misconstrue those big names for a hefty price tag, though, because you can start using monday.com today for free.Think monday.com is the right team management tool for you? Create your account to begin your free two-week trial.last_img read more

Princess Cruises private island completes renos adds WiFi

first_img Friday, February 16, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> SANTA CLARITA — Princess Cruises’ exclusive island destination, Princess Cays, has gotten an upgrade, complete with a new marina, more shore excursions and MedallionNet Wi-Fi, making it the only cruise industry private island to offer connectivity ashore.Ranked among the ‘Top Cruise Line Private Island Destinations’ by Cruise Critic for 2017, the island is located on the southern tip of Eleuthera in the outer Bahamas and has been welcoming guests since 1992. It’s situated on approximately 40 acres and is a featured call on Princess’ Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.“For more than 25 years, Princess guests have lauded Princess Cays as one of their favourite spots on their Caribbean cruise,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “With new and improved island offerings and the addition of MedallionNet Wi-Fi ashore, guests enjoy a memorable beach experience and can easily share their adventures with friends and family back home, or stream their favourite show or sports event while relaxing beachside.”More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaAdditional enhancements include:Shore excursions: A new ‘Lagoon Clear-Bottom Kayaking Adventure’ was introduced on Feb. 17 as a guided paddle through the island’s lagoon. Plus, the new ‘Stingray Beach Encounter’ allows guests to feed, touch and hold live stingrays.Shopping: Guests can visit the new nautical-themed and ‘pick-a-pearl’ jewelry section within the Bahama Treasure store.Marina: The newly completed marina expansion includes a new channel and turning basin depth, which can accommodate larger tenders and smoother disembarkation and embarkation of guests.Guest experience: There’s a new information booth with shaded waiting lounge area, as well as a new public announcement and music system. Extensive landscaping has been done in all guest areas, including newly planted palm trees.For more information go to princess.com. Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img Princess Cruises’ private island completes renos, adds Wi-Fi Share Tags: Princess Cruiseslast_img read more

Sunwings Springventory sale All vacations must go

first_imgSunwing’s ‘Spring-ventory’ sale: “All vacations must go” TORONTO — Sunwing is doing some spring cleaning with a half-price clearance sale on select vacations across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.The ‘Spring-ventory’ sale runs until April 27 for departures between now and June. “All vacations must go”, says the company, so clients keen on getting a head start on summer should book now while deals last.Top-rated resorts included in the sale include the family-friendly Riu Dunamar in Playa Mujeres, Mexico. A stunning beachfront property that offers varied accommodation options including rooms that fit five, this new resort features all-day entertainment, land and watersport activities like kayaking and snorkelling, and unlimited access to the on-site Splash Water Park. Plus, guests enjoy exclusive RIU-topia inclusions such as unlimited à la carte dining, spa discounts and more.Also included in the sale is the top-rated adults only resort, Riu Republica in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Featuring the only adults-only waterpark in the Caribbean, this all-inclusive property boasts eight pools, a Jacuzzi, wellness centre and nine restaurants.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThere’s also the Grand Memories Varadero in Cuba, situated right on the beach. Amenities include two pools, kids club with supervised activities, snorkelling, beach volleyball, windsurfing and evening entertainment.For more go to sunwing.ca. Tags: Sunwing Posted by Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Monday, April 23, 2018 last_img read more

Nigeriabased panAfrican news channel TVC News ha

first_imgNigeria-based pan-African news channel TVC News has launched on BSkyB’s platform in the UK.TVC News is produced by Lagos-based Continental Broadcasting Services.As well as a linear channel providing a mix of news, current affairs and other programming from across Africa and beyond, TVC News will also be available via a mobile app. The channel launched in Africa in February.TVC News is headed by Nigel Parsons, head of Al Jazeera English. Lemi Olalemi, former director of programmes at Channels TV, is deputy CEO, while Stuart Young, who formerly held senior positions at the BBC, CNN, Reuters, Al Jazeera English, Euronews and MBC News, is director of news, current affairs and programmes.“Without shying away from reporting the conflicts or the corruption, the famines or the wars, the mission of TVC News is also to tell the many positive stories coming out of Africa.Stories – good or bad – will be told ‘through African eyes’,” said Parsons.last_img read more

Broadband providers are engaged in an arms race to

first_imgBroadband providers are engaged in an arms race to deliver ultra-fast services to subscribers. HFC cable network operators are making use of a fast-evolving range of tools to stay ahead of rivals, writes Adrian Pennington.The ‘need for speed’ is dominating the cable operator market as competitors jostle to deliver tomorrow’s Gigabit services for consumer and commercial applications.In order to deal with the expected rapid growth in demand for bandwidth, operators are searching for new technologies and architectures that can help them supply those speeds and new services, using an efficient scalable design, with predictable and controllable cost of ownership. In doing so, they may consider making changes to their headend network, nodes and amplifiers, their service groups sizes, the modulation profile used on different areas of the plant and more. The challenge is to choose the right mix of adjustments that can help them optimise their network and supply their subscribers’ demand.“The evolution of the headend and the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) is a major part of everyone’s roadmap for transformation,” says Sean Welch, VP and GM at Cisco’s service provider business.Most operators have already embraced CCAP and are deploying DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems to enable DOCSIS 3.1 in most service areas. But DOCSIS 3.1 also opened up the possibility for 10G / 4096-QAM services along with a migration from a centralised to a Distributed Access Architecture (DDA). Each cable operator’s roadmap is unique of course, yet all need to begin with some form of digital transformation in their access.Distributed, virtualised architectures are expected to transform cable networks. According to analyst group Dell’Oro, investment in cable infrastructure will reach US$2 billion (e1.8 billion) globally by 2023 to prepare operators for multi-gigabit future services using a combination of extended spectrum DOCSIS, full duplex DOCSIS 3.1 (FDX) and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH).“Transitioning from where we are today into a Distributed Access Architecture is a real accomplishment,” says Welch. “Understanding that there is more than one way to get there is important.”The overall aim is “to make networks more efficient, offer premium bandwidth, and stay ahead of fibre-based competitors,” Dell’Oro research director Jeff Heynen adds.Priority investmentsBroadly, it appears that operators in Europe are focusing their investment in three high-priority areas. The first is low latency DOCSIS for improved gaming support, virtual and augmented reality support and 5G backhaul support. Second is augmented upstream bandwidth capacity, which looks to support higher bandwidth demands in the upstream for video-based IoT devices.Lastly is augmented downstream capacity, with a focus on supporting higher service level agreements for the future.“Operators have many options available to them as they plan for the evolution of their future networks,” says Tom Cloonan, formerly of Arris and now office of the CTO, CommScope. “This includes turning on more DOCSIS 3.1 Downstream OFDM channels, plus beginning to turn on – and adding in additional – DOCSIS 3.1 Upstream OFDMA channels.”Operators are also increasing the average bandwidth capacity to each of their subscribers by using combinations of at least three techniques. These are: increasing the spectral efficiency using the higher QAM Modulation orders permitted by DOCSIS 3.1; increasing channels per Service Group; and decreasing the number of subscribers per service group by performing physical or virtual node splits.The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers & International Society of Broadband Experts (SCTE, ISBE), agrees that most upgrades in Europe are focused on increasing the capacity of the Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) network, starting by migrating to DOCSIS 3.1 and then utilising node splits when necessary.While still deploying and upgrading their heavy base of Integrated-CCAP systems, many operators are also considering transitions to DDAs where parts of the traditional I-CCAP are moved to the node structure – closer to the subscriber. Remote PHY or Remote MACPHY are the key technologies.Sean Welch, Cisco“Based on our discussions with European operators and ecosystem partners, it is clear that scaling capacity – with DOCSIS 3.1 – in both the upstream and downstream is a priority for 2019,” says Welch.“DAA, and in particular Remote PHY, is a 2019 initiative driven by the need to modernise the analogue optical network that connect hub sites to fibre nodes in the field. Further, deploying IP over fibre in the aggregation network will unleash a compelling opportunity to converge all forms of access traffic – such as mobile, cable, fibre and copper – and operators are excited about this business case.”DDA based on R-PHYBased on discussions with operators it is working with, Finnish tech company Teleste says DDA “seems to offer the next attractive option to enable significantly higher data transmission capacity, attractive quality of service for subscribers, as well as less operational expense”.“Nearly all operators that we are working with are at least investigating DAA technologies,” says Jim Walsh, marketing manager at California-based network test, measurement and assurance vendor Viavi Solutions. “The current status varies from initial investigations to full implementation; in many cases, their deployment pace is being dictated by the maturity of their selected solutions. Some operators see DAA as a long-term enabler of node splits to address bandwidth needs while also enabling virtualisation of their service provision infrastructure, while others see it as more of a short/medium term stopgap solution with FTTH as the inevitable long-term path.”Early trials and limited deployments have begun, with CommScope projecting growth in the penetration of these technologies starting significantly by end of the year.This is something also tracked by Dell’Oro, which expects North American cable operators – such as Comcast and Mediacom – to move from lab and field trials of R-PHY and R-MACPHY to general availability.“Equipment vendors are ramping up production of their node units to meet what is expected to be a major year of deployments in 2019,” the analyst states in a briefing note. “We expect Comcast to use DDA to dramatically reduce service group sizes from an average of 300 to 400 homes to less than 100. Other operators, including Cox and Spectrum, will quickly follow suit.”Early deployments in Europe, at Com Hem and Stofa, have enabled the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 services, while simultaneously moving away from the operator’s traditional, I-CCAP platforms. “Both operators face significant competition from fibre providers, so they view R-PHY as a stepping stone to either FDX or FTTH,” suggests Dell’Oro.Managing churn and OPEX forms a focal challenge for operators. As acquiring new customers is potentially expensive, investments in providing high quality subscriber experience – including attractive service bundle and high capacity broadband – helps to leverage churn rate and improve cost-effectivity in the longer run.Hanno Narjus, Teleste“R-PHY offers operators real benefits in terms of subscriber experience and it is an excellent option in areas where higher data transmission capacity is needed without long construction times,” argues Hanno Narjus, Teleste’s SVP, network products. “In addition to factors such as increased service reliability, more bandwidth and less latency, the technology enables operators to reduce headend footprint and ensure the availability of their legacy services.”Distributed access is used when fibre transport to the nodes is at capacity, when distribution hubs are very far away from nodes, and/or when distribution hubs are out of space. Further drivers include the desire to bring fibre closer to the home – in order to be better prepared for a FTTx architecture – and a desire to improve signal-to-noise ratios using Ethernet.“The use of Ethernet optics will also offer other benefits, such as permitting operators to multiplex more wavelengths on a single fibre feed,” says Cloonan. “It will also help them to consolidate headends and to tie their HFC plants into virtualised data centres, which would allow cloud computing environments to more easily manage HFC equipment. These transitions should help operators to future-proof their head-ends and HFC plants.”Equipment providers have started to offer Remote PHY products to operators for deployment. However, some operators are choosing to wait for the technology to mature, or for a specific flavour of the products to become available before they begin deployment.Many operators are currently using dense I-CCAPs which still have unused capacity. For those operators the need to upgrade the network may be less pressing. Additionally, an architectural upgrade such as the transition to DAA cannot be taken lightly. A great deal of consideration must go into which access architecture is the best fit, and detailed planning in order to be prepared for the transition from a network readiness, as well as from an operational perspective.Sluggish rollout“Most operators are slow-rolling DDA due to the higher cost and the current rapid evolution of the technology,” says Dean Stoneback, senior director, engineering and standards, SCTE, ISBE.“The technology of remote architectures is still in a rapid state of change as the flexible MAC architecture [FMA] specifications continue to evolve and as FDX equipment enters the market,” says Stoneback. “The uncertainty around the rapid change in technology is most likely slowing down the deployment of remote architectures. Early adoption of remote access equipment is not necessary ‘future-proofing’, as hardware upgrades would require truck rolls.”Teleste’s Narjus also makes the point that “ecosystem-level thinking” and “industry-wide interoperability” between vendors is a must-have before the benefits can be realised.“For both R-PHY and R-MACPHY implementations to succeed in enabling robust multi-vendor field deployments, industry-wide interoperability is needed,” says Narjus. “The question is how operators can safely grasp the opportunities offered by the technology transformation while avoiding vendor lock-in.”Interoperability of distributed access ecosystems has been proceeding slower than anticipated. However, MSOs have been actively driving implementation of CableLabs’ R-PHY standard.“CableLabs has also been providing vendors an invaluable opportunity to test the technology in a multi-vendor environment for some time, and distinct demonstrations of interoperability go on between several CCAP core and RPD vendors as well,” says Narjus.While there are cases of operators focused on new fibre build-outs, DOCSIS 3.1 upgrades and DDA in some cases operators are working on all three technology areas in parallel.“For greenfield opportunities, fibre is generally the option of choice, but for expanding existing networks DAA and DOCSIS 3.1 are generally the focus,” says Walsh. “The two are very often paired – if an operator is considering 1.2GHz downstream extensions and/or converting to 204MHz upstream it often makes sense to align these activities with DAA deployments. The same can be said for headend upgrades to DOCSIS 3.1, these are often coupled with DAA transitions.”Cisco makes the case for Remote PHY with an IP-Ethernet network as the most capable and economically scalable solution that exists. “While network capacity will always be important, the ability to dynamically scale network operations by automating processes, machine learning, network insights, auto-remediation, telemetry, etc will change how we look at it,” says Welch.Observing that “nothing will ever be truly future proof” he asserts that Cisco is the only vendor currently with a FDX-ready Remote PHY node, “where operators can install and operate the node today and then turn-up FDX when they are ready to in the future.”FDX contains within it the capacity to ramp upstream and downstream speeds to 10 Gigabit, speeds which – if companies like Intel are to be believed – will be needed to turbo charge the growing number of devices, vast amounts of data and immersive experiences for home users, let alone business case scenarios.Yet the market itself seems to lag behind that of vendor urgency for symmetrical bandwidth.“It has been raised by some FTTH providers as a competitive differentiator however, to-date, there does not appear to be significant consumer market demand,” says Ralph Brown, chief research and development officer at cable industry technology body CableLabs.“Competition continues to be based largely on download speeds. Symmetrical bandwidth has been more important in serving business customers and cable operators use both DOCSIS and fibre to serve these customers.”Walsh agrees with this reading of the situation: “Outside of a few isolated regional regulatory requirements, demand for symmetrical offerings from cable operators is almost entirely driven by the need for a competitive response to FTTH marketing.“It is expected that future applications will emerge driving consumption closer to symmetrical, but today it is still heavily weighted toward downstream.”Teleste Luminato 4×4 modular headend: the company believes R-PHY offers real benefits.Teleste’s Narjus comes to a similar conclusion: “At the moment are almost no services for which fully symmetrical high bandwidth is actually required and, even today, the network bottleneck continues to be the downstream. However, in some areas FTTH operators have been marketing symmetrical bandwidth to consumers quite intensively, causing a need for cable operators to upgrade their networks in order to maintain competitiveness.”The three main methods to achieve symmetrical bandwidth are FTTP, FDX and extended spectrum DOCSIS (ESD).Toward DOCSIS 4.0While FDX is designed to enable 10G symmetrical speeds, proposals to extend the life of coaxial even further are in motion. DOCSIS 4.0 or Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD) would support symmetrical broadband speeds as high as 30G or even 60G by tapping into more of the cable HFC plant’s available RF spectrum. The concept would allow cable operators to basically triple the 1.2GHz of plant spectrum that can currently be leveraged for DOCSIS 3.1. At 3GHz the spectrum would trump the 1.8GHz of FDX with as much as 6GHz thought possible (10GHz being the physical limit of coaxial).The technique would complement rather than substitute FDX by using Full Duplex DOCSIS hardware while keeping the upstream and downstream spectrum blocks separate.Specifically, this involves using FDX chipsets to raise the spectrum ceiling occupied by upstream traffic to 492MHz or 684MHz while keeping upstream and downstream in separate blocks of spectrum. Downstream spectrum would be pushed above this level and the downstream would operate up to 1.8GHz, in theory.“Vendors and operators are working together to characterize the current HFC plant performance levels and to identify new equipment that can help augment current DOCSIS products,” says Cloonan. “It is expected that these activities could lead to a future Extended Spectrum DOCSIS environment.”CommScope predicts that downstream bandwidths may move to 1.2GHz in the short-term, and then to potentially higher spectral widths (1.8GHz or 3.0GHz or higher) in the more distant future.“Upstream widths will likely move to mid-split – 85MHz – or high-split – 204 MHz – with some operators planning even higher splits of up to 684MHz using FDX-capable technologies or other technologies, such as Soft-FDD [frequency division duplex],” says Cloonan.Detailed analysis of coaxial plant characteristics, tap and drop line characteristics, amplifier, node and consumer premises equipment characteristics will be required to make this happen. Detailed work on power and thermal management is also required for these next-gen systems.CableLabs and SCTE ISBE are working together on proactive network maintenance (PNM) tools and operational practices for DOCSIS 3.1 and FDX.“Without PNM tools, it would be nearly impossible to understand and manage RF impairments and interference since multiple devices will be transmitting RF signals in both directions on the cable at the same frequencies simultaneously,” says Stoneback. “These tools will be used by early adopters to gain experience and optimize future deployments.“In most cases, HFC operators are planning to use FDX or ESD to provide higher upstream rates to the majority of their customers, while utilising targeted FTTP deployments for the highest tier customers.”Cisco acknowledges that fibre may have the advantage today, in terms of symmetrical bandwidth, but notes that it is nowhere near as extensively deployed as DOCSIS networks. “Should there be a race between achieving fibre network coverage parity and deploying FDX, my money would be on FDX,” Welch says. “And I would not mind doubling down on that. Fibre is going to remain being important, but the key takeaway here is that DOCSIS networks continue to innovate. What is important here is keeping focus on the long-term vision. CableLabs set the goal with 10G, and reaching that goal still requires much innovation.”Indeed, CableLabs’ latest initiative is a ‘10G platform’ that will ramp up from the 1 gigabit offerings of today to speeds of 10 gigabits per second and beyondComcast, Charter, Cox, Mediacom, in the US plus Rogers, Shaw Vodafone, Telecom Argentina and Liberty Global are implementing the new 10G initiative, with lab trials underway, and field trials beginning in 2020, according to CableLabs.“While FDX is a fundamental element of the platform, enabling the sharing of spectrum both upstream and downstream concurrently, other technologies will be needed to deliver the full 10G experience,” explains Brown. “One such technology is Full Duplex Coherent Optics, which will significantly increase the value of the currently-deployed fibre infrastructure, boosting capacity to meet the growing demand of broadband customers.”Consensus over the future of the DOCSIS standard will be required to guarantee smooth, industry-wide deployments and the future competitiveness of the technology.Whether it will invest in Extended Spectrum, Full-Duplex DOCSIS or something in-between, the industry can already foresee innovations that could extend the life-time of coaxial cable infrastructure for many years to come.last_img read more