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To future-proof their networks, North American cable operators need to look to a distributed access architecture (DAA) accompanied by a "fiber-deep" framework to transform their headends and outside plant.


  • DAA will support higher (and symmetrical) bandwidths while lowering opex costs related to the headend.
  • Various technologies previously housed in the headend can be disaggregated and then systematically integrated in a DAA approach – upgrades can be done in stages.
  • "Fiber deep," or pulling fiber closer to the end user, has an important role to play in DAA.

Features and Benefits

  • Identifies the business case opportunities for cable operators, including reduced opex in the headend.
  • Assesses the role of "fiber deep" in cable access networks.
  • Analyzes the role of SDN/NFV in a distributed access architecture.

Key questions answered

  • Which technologies make up a distributed access architecture?
  • How does DAA keep cable operators competitive with telco FTTH offerings?
  • What role does "fiber deep" have in a distributed access architecture?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for service providers
  • Recommendations for vendors

DAA enables cable operators to compete against FTTH

  • Remaining competitive despite increasing FTTH competition

DAA is a collection of new technologies with a single goal

  • Headend intelligence reconfigured in the outside plant
  • SDN/NFV supports DAA

"Fiber deep" plays vital role in next-generation cable networks

  • Pulling fiber closer to the end user

Cable CMTS/CCAP vendors have introduced DAA solutions

  • Traditional CMTS/CCAP vendors move toward virtualization
  • Newer entrants in virtualized cable architecture

Fiber deeper and sometimes all the way

  • Vendors pushing fiber deeper

Considerations when deciding to adopt DAA

  • Weighing the rewards of DAA against its challenges
  • What lies ahead for cable operators in North America


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author