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A Comparison of MAC Protocols for Hybrid Fiber/Coax Networks: IEEE 802.14 vs. MCNS



Nada T. Golmie, F Mouveaux, David H. Su


The first Medium Access Control (MAC) interface specifications for Hybrid Fiber/Coax networks to be completed are the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications, started as a project of the Multimedia Cable Network System (MCNS) organization and later adopted as a new recommendation of the International Telecommunication Union. In parallel to the MCNS activities, the Project P802.14, Cable-TV Protocol Working Group of the IEEE LAN/MAN (Local Area Network/Metropolitan Area Network) Standards Committee has been working over the past four years on producing a standard suitable for two-way transmission of multiple services over Cable-TV systems. While both the IEEE and MCNS specifications share a common goal to provide interface specifications to the same anticipated services (such as cable telephony, Internet and on-line access for Web browsing, chat rooms,Interactive games, local area network emulation for work-at-home applications and desktop conferencing), the solutions offered by the two groups have little in common at the MAC layer. IEEE 802.14 chose ATM transfer as its default solution while MCNS uses a scheme that favors the delivery of variable length IP packets. Our goal in this study is to conduct a comparative performance evaluation of both IEEE 802.14 and MCNS MAC specifications. We focus on the efficiency of the two solutions in terms of contention access, ATM vs. IP transfer, and adequate Quality of Service provision.
International Conference on Communications


hybrid fiber/coax, medium access control, residential broadband access


Golmie, N. , Mouveaux, F. and Su, D. (1999), A Comparison of MAC Protocols for Hybrid Fiber/Coax Networks: IEEE 802.14 vs. MCNS, International Conference on Communications (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created June 7, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017