Coaxial cable networks have been widely deployed to distribute television services using broadcasting technology. This infrastructure has been enhanced and developed into a Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) architecture along with the introduction of a return channel. The industry is now deploying digital television services, high-speed data services, Internet Protocol (IP) voice and other time-critical multimedia services across these broadband cable telecommunication network technologies.

These services are delivered using the DOCSIS and IPCablecom protocols. DOCSIS® is a data communication protocol for the transparent transmission of IP traffic across the HFC infrastructure. IPCablecom has been developed to deliver telephony and other Quality of Service (QoS) enhanced, secure, IP multimedia, time critical communications services, using packetized data transmission technology on a HFC data network utilizing the DOCSIS protocol.

ETSI’s Technical Committee CABLE is responsible for the creation, development and maintenance of standards related to integrated broadband cable telecommunication network technologies including:

  • network terminals e.g. cable CPE devices and network terminating devices
  • network infrastructure, including network topologies, HFC network distribution, data over cable systems, and frequency management
  • services delivered across integrated broadband cable telecommunication networks
  • energy efficiency and sustainability for integrated broadband cable telecommunication networks
  • security of integrated broadband cable telecommunication networks and services

Our Role & Activities

The cable industry is a global market and therefore ETSI’s cable standards are developed to align to the extent possible with standards either already developed or under development in other regions. TC CABLE is responsible for the creation, development and maintenance of standards and other ETSI deliverables related to integrated broadband cable telecommunication network technologies.

The ETSI specifications are consistent to the extent possible with the CableLabs® set of specifications and with deliverables published by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). In many of its activities TC CABLE leverages close relationships with SCTE, CENELEC and ITU-T.

ETSI is hosting standards for the core technology components and communication platforms deployed in HFC networks such as DOCSIS. Starting with the first generation [ES 201 488 series], DOCSIS provides an IP-based data communication interface that today is connecting millions of homes throughout the world. Further DOCSIS generations such as ES 202 488 and EN 302 878   series added advanced features including the ability to bond multiple channels together and support for IP version 6.

TC CABLE achieved another milestone on standards for broadband cable network technology with the publication of a multi-part specification [ES 203 311 series] for the fourth-generation transmission systems for interactive cable television services (IP cable modem). The latest version 3.1 of DOCSIS became an ETSI Standard (ES). The series of standards spans the DOCSIS 3.1 physical layer [ES 203 311-2]; MAC and upper layer protocols [ES 203 311-3]; cable modem operations support system interface [ES 203 311-4]; converged cable access platform operations support system interface [ES 203 311-5]; and security [ES 203 311-6] aspects.

Recently, ETSI's TC CABLE also works on standards covering additional aspects of providing services and deploying networks in the cable context. One example has been an extensive analysis of transition technologies to evolve the broadband cable telecommunication infrastructure to IPv6. Other contributions cover such diverse areas as electromagnetic compatibility and broadband services performance measurements. A focus of TC CABLE’s external communication has been the contribution to the ETSI position in the Experts Group on Reconfigurable Radio Systems and Radio Equipment of the European Commission.

An ongoing focus of TC CABLE is work on energy management for cable networks, in response to European Commission (EC) Mandate 462 (M/462) on energy efficiency in information and communication networks and its related follow-up activities. A European Norm [EN 305 200-4-4] that specifies the requirements for a global KPIs for energy management (designated KPI) was published and a revision is planned.


A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search.

Related Committees