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100Mbps Cable Modem Certification Testing Starts; Showdown With Fiber Next Year

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

CableLabs has started testing and certifying the next generation of cable modems that use the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. In sorta English, we're talking boxes that'll handle 160Mbps download speeds and 120Mbps up, putting them on par with fiber optic services. The AZNs still have the jump on us, with customers in Korea and Singapore getting first crack at the fiber-like speeds in trials earlier this year. But, we should see cable companies rolling out the new hotness sometime next year.

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The cruel irony is that places already saturated with uber-broadband will probably take priority as cable ISPs look to compete with Verizon and AT&T fiber. But since they can forgo the lengthy and expensive process of laying down fiber optic cable, most of us will see fatter pipes this way long before fiber could make it to our doors. We're used to longing for real broadband with no relief in sight anyway, so feel free to take your time, cable companies. Kidding. Get it here now. [Ars Technica]

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DISCUSSION

My apologies for the geeky question .. But, why do we call it a 'cable modem'? As we all know, modems are modulating / demodulating devices, converting an analog signal into digital data. But, that does not seem to fit with a 'cable modem' at all since the signal coming in and out are both digital, right? If that is true, why do we continue to call it a 'modem'?

Wasted energy asking the question, I suppose, since there is no changing the name now.