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By Calling Cards Online

Figure 4. The MTA is responsible for reserving and
committing bandwidth on the CMTS.

The Future
So far, we've concentrated on cable telephony QoS. However, these QoS principles are equally applicable to video conferencing, gaming, or other multimedia services. Unfortunately, these services may degrade network throughput since they siphon bandwidth from lower-priority applications. Therefore, MSOs should quantify the performance impact of a new QoS-based feature before it is deployed.

Although cable networks are capable of transporting large quantities of data, they have weaknesses when used for telephony. Two of the most notable limitations are shared bandwidth and broadcast communication. The CMTS circumvents these limitations by allocating bandwidth, enforcing bandwidth caps, and providing QoS to high priority applications.

The importance of the CMTS will increase as it expands its role from data monitor to QoS enforcer. After this transition is complete, HFC networks will be a robust platform for cable telephony.

Linden deCarmo is a senior software engineer at NetSpeak Corporation where he develops advanced call agent software. He can be reached via e-mail at lindend@netspeak.com. A pioneer in Voice over IP (VoIP) network and infrastructure management solutions, NetSpeak is a leading developer and marketer of advanced telephony software for IP networks. NetSpeak's protocol-independent iTEL software architecture, designed to meet the rapidly evolving business needs of its Service Provider and Enterprise customers, delivers efficient management of network resources and enables cost-effective introduction of new VoIP applications.


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