CableLabs has completed the specification for its Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 standard, bringing symmetric multi-gigabit broadband over cable networks within reach.

An extension of the DOCSIS 3.1 specs, Full Duplex enables upstream and downstream traffic to simultaneously use the same spectrum and deliver internet speeds of up to 10 Gbps up and down over hybrid fiber-coaxial networks.   

“Current DOCSIS networks have to juggle available upstream and downstream traffic. Full Duplex DOCSIS technology supports multi-gigabit symmetric services by enabling concurrent transmissions in the same spectrum, providing the ability to increase the upstream capacity without sacrificing downstream capacity,” Belal Hamzeh, VP of research and development for wireless technologies at CableLabs, notes in a blog post about the specs. “This has the potential to greatly improve network efficiency and, in turn, customer experience.”

CableLabs says Full Duplex eliminates the need for cable operators to deploy fiber-to-the-home, which can be costly.

Cable operator Altice USA has committed to a FTTH strategy, while Comcast and Charter have both opted for Full Duplex.

 “Using a combination of Passive HFC and the self-interference cancellation and intelligent scheduling of DOCSIS 3.1 technology, CableLabs has built a solution that proves the viability of full duplex communication,” Hamzeh wrote in a blog post when work on the Full Duplex spec began in February 2016. “Its approach significantly increases upstream data capacity in order to enable symmetric multi-Gigabit broadband data services for consumers and the enterprise. These developments are expected to yield DOCSIS 3.1 network performance of up to 10 Gbps symmetrical on 1 GHz HFC networks, with the potential for even higher performance by utilizing spectrum that is currently available for future expansion above 1 GHz.”

CableLabs indicates the complete specification will be published on its website later this month.