The word itself is an acronym. It stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. This is more or less the technology behind the broadband services we all enjoy today like Verizon FIOS, AT&T U-Verse, and Comcast.

Now when you bring this technology up, you will get some varying opinions, mostly by techies and computer geeks. Some will get very excited when the topic comes up. Some will get very heated about the subject. Either way, DOCSIS is definitely a subject that brings much debate.


There is the physical layer and the Media Access Control layer. Let’s discuss the physical layer first. The physical layer is going to be the easiest for people to understand. It refers to what someone can see and/or touch. This layer will also transmit and translate the frequency at which data is sent over the wires.

The faster the speed is, the better the performance will be. This sort of goes without saying. Now the only draw back are the limitations. It all depends on what type of service is in your respective area. Some modems might not be able to reach certain places.

The other layer that we will talk about is the MAC. The MAC is the Media Access Control layer. To better understand the MAC layer, we must think of it like a traffic cop. This layer is designed to guide and direct traffic from any direction.


Understanding the MAC is not that easy to do. Not all MACs are going to be working the same way. Let’s talk about this in a different way.

Imagine you have a car. This car is known as the Data within the DOCSIS. The network is made up of many streets and intersections. There is lots of chaos on the streets. The only thing that can bring this turmoil to a head is the MAC. This is not an easy thing to do. The traffic cop is not operating at 100% all the time. There are going to be lapses in time and space.

Do you see the point now?

Every device has it’s own IP address. The MAC has to make do with the best it’s got. Not all devices are going to be running at the same speeds. Some information will get there quicker than others. Some data might be seen as misinformation.

When it comes to the two layers, the MAC is probably the most crucial and the most difficult to navigate through. The physical stuff is easy. Dissecting a map and handing it over to a traffic cop is the hard part.


It’s important to note that the original standard operated from one channel. It was a much simpler time then. Over time there was an increased competition. The 1.0 could not keep up with everything.

What is difference between the 1.1 and 1.0? There is not much of a difference really. There only difference lies in the numbers. Think of it as a numbers game. It deals with how many people that can be serviced and their different ranges of service. This is the only major difference.

Next came the 2.0 standard. As word got around and more broadband customers came on board, the standards had to be raised. Now it’s up at a 3.0. The main difference with the 3.0 is that it services more customers and the speeds are better managed.

The 3.0 is not like the 1.0. The 3.0 has a better managed system. The traffic cop has become better at his job, leaving little room for error. As things improve more and more, the options will get better.


Given this new information is more easily understood, it’s best to speak with your provider before signing with a provider. Make sure you get your money’s worth. Before you sign up, understand what you are signing up for. For more information on the DOCSIS and the specific standards, visit our main page right here.

Published by

Move Your Money Admin

Melissa is the Move Your Money Admin and Chief Muckity Muck.