The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) recently launched development of a suite of technical industry standards to support wider use of optical fiber in the cable plant.

Focused on a technology called radio frequency over glass (RFoG), the standards will enable cable systems to expand the use of optical fiber while continuing to deliver current cable services and technologies, including data over cable service interface specification (DOCSIS).

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited SCTE standards program is directed by the SCTE engineering committee, which approved the RFoG work program last fall and assigned the program’s projects to the SCTE interface practices subcommittee (IPS) for development as industry standards. The IPS subcommittee then met to begin crafting the standards.

Once developed and approved as standards, RFoG will broaden the SCTE standards program’s footprint concerning optical fiber.

Part of IPS’s RFoG focus has been on a document titled IPS SP 910, “RF over Glass System Overview.” This working document addresses DOCSIS and cable television’s hybrid fiber/coax systems, an environment where data and video share the same RF spectrum.

Other points of focus for IPS concerning RFoG follow:

  • Specification for performance of fiber optic passive splitters and directional couplers

  • Specification for fiber optic passive filters

  • Specification for RF over glass gateway RF levels

  • Specification for RF over glass gateway operation: burst transmitter RF input trigger power-level range specification

  • Specification for RF over glass gateway optical input and output RF levels and wavelengths

  • RF over glass gateway environmental requirements

  • Recommended practices for mid split cable equipment and system operations

SCTE standards cover a wide range of industry needs from F-connectors to protocols for high-speed data access over cable and digital program insertion. In addition to its ANSI accreditation, the International Telecommunication Union recognizes the SCTE standards program.