System And Method For Communicating Data In A Cable Network
Limb, John O.
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The system of the present invention utilizes an interface unit and a controller located at a central cable station. The interface unit interfaces the controller with a cable connection, which connects the interface unit to a plurality of cable modems located at remote locations. The cable modems write transmission requests into slots that are defined by the controller as contention slots and that are communicated along a channel of the cable connection. The cable modems also write other data into slots that are defined by the controller as data slots and that are also communicated along the channel of the cable connection. The controller is configured to define certain ones of the slots communicated along the aforementioned channel as data slots and to allocate these data slots to particular ones of the cable modems in response to transmission requests received by the controller. The controller is preferably configured to define each slot not allocated to a particular cable modem as a contention slot. Furthermore, the controller is also configured to preselect certain ones of the data slots as contention slots such that preselected ones of the data slots are automatically defined as contention slots.
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