MoCA Keeps on Getting Better as It Becomes Ever More Necessary

MoCA-based Coax Network Serves as the Sturdy, Reliable Backbone for the Home’s Wi-Fi Network. Image courtesy MoCA.

-500 Mbps/1 Gbps Now and 2.5 Gbps in the Future

We first reported on MoCA over 12 years ago, in January 2004, when we explained what it is and why so many large outfits were backing it — and then again in April 2005 when we followed a MoCA evangelist around the floors of the cablecos’ trade show, then called NCTA, as he presented to pay TV companies and equipment makers the pages of statistics from test results in multiple homes that showed MoCA’s superior technology.

The end result is that all major cablecos and some telcos and satcos have standardized on MoCA as their standard technology for whole-home networking. The failure of some telcos, such as AT&T, CenturyLink and BT, to standardize on MoCA as their whole home solution has been a major factor in their failures as pay TV services. Wi-Fi has continued to improve significantly over the years but not fast enough to handle simultaneously the multiple streams of 4K and other bandwidth-sucking applications such as telemedicine. MoCA is still needed in most homes as a backbone for the home’s Wi-Fi network.

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance’s new MoCA 2.1 firmware supports throughputs of 500 Mbps unbonded and 1 Gbps bonded is available now as an interim step to the groundbreaking MoCA 2.5 products that are due out in the near future. MoCA 2.1 supports improved network set-up and management plus has enhanced privacy settings. Like all MoCA upgrades, equipment that has MoCA 2.1 can work in networks with prior versions of MoCA – although at their slower speeds. MoCA is increasingly being built in to devices such as Wi-Fi routers, Wi-Fi repeaters and DVRs such as TiVo’s.

Chipmaker MaxLinear, which acquired MoCA inventor Entropic, announced in August the world’s first fully integrated circuit (IC) that supports the MoCA 2.5 standard. Broadcom and others are sure to follow because the MoCA market has grown quite large in the last 12 years. MaxLinear cited as drivers of the need for faster the growing number of connected devices, streaming of over-the-top 4K video, the use of cloud storage, and mobile data off-loading. It said broadband service providers are investing [billions] in their network infrastructure to bring 1Gbps and higher data-rate services to home subscribers. That in turn creates the enormous challenge of distributing the received multi-gigabit WAN data bandwidth seamlessly throughout the home.

MoCA has also announced a version called MoCA Access that will compete against in MDUs where multiple residences need to be connected to incoming fiber.

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