This standard is part of the DOCSIS® family of specifications. In particular, it is part of a series of standards that defines the fifth generation of high-speed data-over-cable systems, commonly referred to as the DOCSIS 3.1 standards. This standard was developed for the benefit of the cable industry, and includes contributions by operators and vendors from North and South America, Europe and Asia.
This generation of the DOCSIS specifications builds upon the previous generations of DOCSIS specifications (commonly referred to as the DOCSIS 3.0 and earlier specifications), leveraging the existing Media Access Control (MAC) and Physical (PHY) layers, but with the addition of a new PHY layer designed to improve spectral efficiency and provide better scaling for larger bandwidths (and appropriate updates to the MAC and management layers to support the new PHY layer). It includes backward compatibility for the existing PHY layers in order to enable a seamless migration to the new technology.