Automated Proofreading Report

Document Name/Date: Demo Specification.doc
Generated on January 05, 2019, 3:38 PM
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Claim Tree

Claim tree and searchable claim table are shown below (without amended deletions). Color legend for claim types: Method , Apparatus, Composition, Article, Means For, Product, Jepson.

Only show independent claims
ClaimTree Image


Indep. Claim
1. An apparatus for monitoring the upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising:
a demodulator device for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio(MER) and a MAC address for each packet received; and
said graphical user interface for displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with the corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable with the corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing MER are identifiable
Yes
2.(Original) The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising the comparator for determining whether the MER for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value
No
3. The apparatus according to claims 1 or 2, wherein the receiving demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules; and
a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables.
No
4. The apparatus according to claim 19, wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter; and
a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator.
No
5.(Original) The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports, corresponding to a hub in the CATV network, for testing.
No
6. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the graphical user interface graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the MER.
No
7. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the graphical user interface also displays the number of symbols/packets in the upstream signal.
Yes
8. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the graphical user interface also displays the average MER for all the packets in the upstream signal.
No
9. An apparatus for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising:
a demodulator for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio(MER) of the upstream signal;
a comparator for determining a MAC address for each packet received having an MER falling below a predetermined threshold value; and
a controller for storing the MAC address and characteristic details relating to the, whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable.
Yes
11. A method for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a DOCSIS or an OCAP protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising the steps of:
a) demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
b) determining a modulation error ratio(MER) and a MAC address for each packet received; and
c) displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with a corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable.
Yes
12. The method according to claim 11, further comprising determining whether the MER for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value for identifying faulty cable modems. 13. The method according to claim 11, wherein the demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules; and
a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables.
No
14. The method according to claim 13, wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter; and
a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator.
No
15. The method according to claim 14, wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports, corresponding to a hub in the CATV network, for testing.
No
16. The method according to claim 11, wherein step c) includes graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the MER.
No
17. The method according to claim 16, wherein step c) also includes displays the number of symbols/packets in the upstream signal.
No
18. The method according to claim 17, wherein step c) also includes displays the average MER for all the packets in the upstream signal.
No

Errors in Claims

Claims with errors or warnings are shown below (i.e., issues with claim numbering, amendments, status indicators, syntax, and style).
Claims Identified Issues
1. An apparatus for monitoring the upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising:
a demodulator device for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio(MER) and a MAC address for each packet received; and
said graphical user interface for displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with the corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable with the corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing MER are identifiable

1. Claim is amended, but its status identifier does not reflect the amendment. Change the claim's status identifier to the one that indicates a current amendment, such as (Currently Amended).

2. "for receiving": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

3. "unique": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

4. "for determining": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

5. "low": Use of unbased comparative adjectives may render the scope of the claim indefinite. Rewrite/select another word to avoid ambiguity.

6. "for displaying": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

7. "unique": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

8. Claim does not include '; and' in front of the last limitation. Add '; and' in front of the last limitation. See, e.g., MPEP 608.01

9. Claim must end with a period. Add a period to the end of the claim. See MPEP 608.01

10. "for monitoring": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

11. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

12. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

2.(Original) The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising the comparator for determining whether the MER for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value

1. Either the claim or its parent is missing a status indicator. If the claim has a status identifier, so should its parent (and vise-versa).

2. Claim is amended, but its status identifier does not reflect the amendment. Change the claim's status identifier to the one that indicates a current amendment, such as (Currently Amended).

3. Double brackets should be used to show deletion of five or fewer consecutive characters. Change the font of the text in double brackets to strikethrough. See 37 CFR 1.121

4. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

5. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

6. "for determining": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

3. The apparatus according to claims 1 or 2, wherein the receiving demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules; and
a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables.

1. Either the claim or its parent is missing a status indicator. If the claim has a status identifier, so should its parent (and vise-versa).

2. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

3. "for controlling": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

4. "for receiving": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

5. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

6. Claim number is out of sequence from other dependents in the group. Group dependent claims together with their parent claims, where possible. See MPEP 608.01(i)

7. Claim does not include '; and' in front of the last limitation. Add '; and' in front of the last limitation. See, e.g., MPEP 608.01

8. "for demodulating": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

9. "or": Claim includes 'alternative' language which might render the claim broader than intended. Review the claim, as alternative phrases in claim limitations can render them broader than intended, leading to easier invalidity challenges.

4. The apparatus according to claim 19, wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter; and
a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator.

1. Claim depends from an invalid parent. Make sure the claim references an existing parent claim that is not cancelled.

2. "for selecting": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

3. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

4. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

5.(Original) The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports, corresponding to a hub in the CATV network, for testing.

1. Either the claim or its parent is missing a status indicator. If the claim has a status identifier, so should its parent (and vise-versa).

2. "for selecting": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

3. "for testing": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

4. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

5. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

6. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the graphical user interface graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the MER.

Claim number is out of sequence from other dependents in the group. Group dependent claims together with their parent claims, where possible. See MPEP 608.01(i)

7. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the graphical user interface also displays the number of symbols/packets in the upstream signal.

Claim cannot depend from itself. Make sure the claim references an existing parent claim that is not cancelled.

8. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the graphical user interface also displays the average MER for all the packets in the upstream signal.

1. Claim is amended, but its status identifier does not reflect the amendment. Change the claim's status identifier to the one that indicates a current amendment, such as (Currently Amended).

2. "all": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

3. "all": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

9. An apparatus for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising:
a demodulator for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio(MER) of the upstream signal;
a comparator for determining a MAC address for each packet received having an MER falling below a predetermined threshold value; and
a controller for storing the MAC address and characteristic details relating to the, whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable.

1. "for determining": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

2. "for receiving": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

3. "low": Use of unbased comparative adjectives may render the scope of the claim indefinite. Rewrite/select another word to avoid ambiguity.

4. "for storing": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

5. "unique": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

6. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

7. "for monitoring": Functional limitations might be given too little or too much weight by the USPTO or the courts. Note that purely functional limitations might be given little weight by the USPTO/courts or used to invoke 'means or step plus function' limitations under 35 U.S.C. 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112 (6) paragraph. Consider revising using 'operable to' or similar language.

8. "unique": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

9. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

11. A method for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a DOCSIS or an OCAP protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising the steps of:
a) demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
b) determining a modulation error ratio(MER) and a MAC address for each packet received; and
c) displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with a corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable.

1. Claim number is out of sequence. Make sure claims are numbered sequentially. See MPEP 608.01(j)

2. "unique": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

3. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

4. "low": Use of unbased comparative adjectives may render the scope of the claim indefinite. Rewrite/select another word to avoid ambiguity.

5. "unique": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

6. Claim does not include '; and' in front of the last limitation. Add '; and' in front of the last limitation. See, e.g., MPEP 608.01

7. First element in a limitation of a method/process claim is not a gerund verb. Is this limitation in proper method form?

8. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

9. "or": Claim includes 'alternative' language which might render the claim broader than intended. Review the claim, as alternative phrases in claim limitations can render them broader than intended, leading to easier invalidity challenges.

12. The method according to claim 11, further comprising determining whether the MER for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value for identifying faulty cable modems. 13. The method according to claim 11, wherein the demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules; and
a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables.

1. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

2. "faulty": Use of unbased comparative adjectives may render the scope of the claim indefinite. Rewrite/select another word to avoid ambiguity.

3. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

4. First element in a limitation of a method/process claim is not a gerund verb. Is this limitation in proper method form?

5. Claim does not include '; and' in front of the last limitation. Add '; and' in front of the last limitation. See, e.g., MPEP 608.01

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter; and
a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator.

1. Claim depends from an invalid parent. Make sure the claim references an existing parent claim that is not cancelled.

2. Claim number is out of sequence. Make sure claims are numbered sequentially. See MPEP 608.01(j)

3. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

4. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

5. First element in a limitation of a method/process claim is not a gerund verb. Is this limitation in proper method form?

15. The method according to claim 14, wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports, corresponding to a hub in the CATV network, for testing.

1. "each": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

2. "each": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

16. The method according to claim 11, wherein step c) includes graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the MER.

Claim number is out of sequence from other dependents in the group. Group dependent claims together with their parent claims, where possible. See MPEP 608.01(i)

18. The method according to claim 17, wherein step c) also includes displays the average MER for all the packets in the upstream signal.

1. "all": Claim includes possibly limiting expressions. These phrases may unintentionally limit claim scope. Is the use of these terms necessary?

2. "all": Document text includes potentially limiting language. Make sure that limiting terms are used correctly, to avoid the potential infringer trying to limit the scope of the patent based on the statements in the specification.

Antecedent Basis Errors

This tab shows Antecedent Basis ("AB") errors and warnings (i.e., missing AB, ambiguous definitions, possible singular/plural mismatches, limiting terms in the preamble). Click on red/yellow/blue highlights to see suggestions in claims.
1. An apparatus for monitoring the upstream signal , which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems , in a CATV bi - directional network using a cable protocol , each cable modem having a unique MAC address , comprising:
a demodulator device for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio (MER)and a MAC address for each packet received;
and said graphical user interface for displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with the corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable with the corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing MER are identifiable
2. ( Original ) The apparatus according to claim 1 , further comprising the comparator for determining whether the MER for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value
3. The apparatus according to claims 1 or 2 , wherein the receiving demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules;
and a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables .
4. The apparatus according to claim 19 , wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter;
and a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator .
5 . ( Original ) The apparatus according to claim 4 , wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports , corresponding to a hub in the CATV network , for testing .
6 . The apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the graphical user interface graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the MER .
7. The apparatus according to claim 7 , wherein the graphical user interface also displays the number of symbols / packets in the upstream signal .
8 . The apparatus according to claim 7 , wherein the graphical user interface also displays the average MER for all the packets in the upstream signal .
9 . An apparatus for monitoring an upstream signal , which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems , in a CATV bi - directional network using a cable protocol , each cable modem having a unique MAC address , comprising:
a demodulator for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio (MER)of the upstream signal;
a comparator for determining a MAC address for each packet received having an MER falling below a predetermined threshold value;
and a controller for storing the MAC address and characteristic details relating to the , whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable .
11. A method for monitoring an upstream signal , which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems , in a CATV bi - directional network using a DOCSIS or an OCAP protocol , each cable modem having a unique MAC address , comprising the steps of:
a ) demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
b ) determining a modulation error ratio (MER)and a MAC address for each packet received;
and c ) displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with a corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable .
12. The method according to claim 11 , further comprising determining whether the MER for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value for identifying faulty cable modems . 13. The method according to claim 11 , wherein the demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules;
and a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables .
14. The method according to claim 13 , wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter;
and a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator .
15. The method according to claim 14 , wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports , corresponding to a hub in the CATV network , for testing .
16. The method according to claim 11 , wherein step c ) includes graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the MER .
17. The method according to claim 16 , wherein step c ) also includes displays the number of symbols / packets in the upstream signal .
18. The method according to claim 17 , wherein step c ) also includes displays the average MER for all the packets in the upstream signal .

Word Support in Specification

This tab shows whether individual claim words appear in the specification. Certain function words, such as prepositions, are not checked. Hover over each green/yellow word to see how often this word and its variants appear in the specification.
1 . An apparatus for monitoring the upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising:
a demodulator device for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio (MER)and a MAC address for each packet received; and
said graphical user interface for displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with the corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable with the corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing MER are identifiable
2 . (Original)The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising the comparator for determining whether the MER for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value
3 . The apparatus according to claims 1 or 2, wherein the receiving demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules; and
a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables .
4 . The apparatus according to claim 19, wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter; and
a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator .
5 . (Original)The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports, corresponding to a hub in the CATV network, for testing .
6 . The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the graphical user interface graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the MER .
7 . The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the graphical user interface also displays the number of symbols/packets in the upstream signal .
8 . The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the graphical user interface also displays the average MER for all the packets in the upstream signal .
9 . An apparatus for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising:
a demodulator for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio (MER)of the upstream signal;
a comparator for determining a MAC address for each packet received having an MER falling below a predetermined threshold value; and
a controller for storing the MAC address and characteristic details relating to the, whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable .
11 . A method for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a DOCSIS or an OCAP protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising the steps of:
a)demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
b)determining a modulation error ratio (MER)and a MAC address for each packet received; and
c)displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with a corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable .
12 . The method according to claim 11, further comprising determining whether the MER for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value for identifying faulty cable modems . 13 . The method according to claim 11, wherein the demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules; and
a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables .
14 . The method according to claim 13, wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter; and
a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator .
15 . The method according to claim 14, wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports, corresponding to a hub in the CATV network, for testing .
16 . The method according to claim 11, wherein step c)includes graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the MER .
17 . The method according to claim 16, wherein step c)also includes displays the number of symbols/packets in the upstream signal .
18 . The method according to claim 17, wherein step c)also includes displays the average MER for all the packets in the upstream signal .

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1 . An apparatus for monitoring the upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a catv bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique mac address, comprising:
a demodulator device for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio (mer)and a mac address for each packet received; and
said graphical user interface for displaying the mer for each packet as a function of the received packet number with the corresponding mac address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low mer are identifiable with the corresponding mac address;
whereby individual cable modems causing mer are identifiable
2 . (Original)The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising the comparator for determining whether the mer for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value
3 . The apparatus according to claims 1 or 2, wherein the receiving demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules; and
a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables .
4 . The apparatus according to claim 19, wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter; and
a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator .
5 . (Original)The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports, corresponding to a hub in the catv network, for testing .
6 . The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the graphical user interface graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the mer .
7 . The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the graphical user interface also displays the number of symbols/packets in the upstream signal .
8 . The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the graphical user interface also displays the average mer for all the packets in the upstream signal .
9 . An apparatus for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a catv bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique mac address, comprising:
a demodulator for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio (mer)of the upstream signal;
a comparator for determining a mac address for each packet received having an mer falling below a predetermined threshold value; and
a controller for storing the mac address and characteristic details relating to the, whereby individual cable modems causing low mer are identifiable .
11 . A method for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a catv bi-directional network using a docsis or an ocap protocol, each cable modem having a unique mac address, comprising the steps of:
a)demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
b)determining a modulation error ratio (mer)and a mac address for each packet received; and
c)displaying the mer for each packet as a function of the received packet number with a corresponding mac address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low mer are identifiable .
12 . The method according to claim 11, further comprising determining whether the mer for each packet exceeds a predetermined threshold value for identifying faulty cable modems . 13 . The method according to claim 11, wherein the demodulator includes:
a plurality of modules for demodulating a plurality of upstream signals;
a main controller for controlling the plurality of modules; and
a backplane for electrically connecting the plurality of modules with the main controller;
wherein each module includes a plurality of ports for receiving a plurality of cables .
14 . The method according to claim 13, wherein each module comprises:
a module controller;
an analog to digital converter clocked at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency of the upstream signal;
a gain control device adjusted to match a known amplitude of a selected node to the analog to digital converter; and
a down converter for selecting the upstream channel to demodulate and route to the demodulator .
15 . The method according to claim 14, wherein each module comprises a selector switch for selecting one of the ports, corresponding to a hub in the catv network, for testing .
16 . The method according to claim 11, wherein step c)includes graphically displays the packet number in the upstream signal vs the mer .
17 . The method according to claim 16, wherein step c)also includes displays the number of symbols/packets in the upstream signal .
18 . The method according to claim 17, wherein step c)also includes displays the average mer for all the packets in the upstream signal .

Reference part names/numbers in the specification

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Part Number Part Name in the Specification Appears in Figures? Appears in Claims? Errors?
1CMTS [10]
port [2]
packets
1, 5Yes
2signal Combiner [2]
signal combiner
1, 5Yes
3signal splitter [2]
1, 5Yes
4fiber Transceiver Node
fiber transceiver
1, 5Yes
5fiber optic link
optical link
1, 5Yes
6transceiver node [2]
fiber transceiver
1, 5Yes
7distribution network [2]
cable Distribution Network
1, 5Yes
8port
certain residences
1, 53, 5, 12, and 15Yes
9certain residences
1
11packets
CM packet series
1, 21, 7-9, 11, 17, and 18Yes
12CM packet series
packets
1, 2Yes
14upstream signal [2]
upstream carrier signal
CM signal
single upstream signal
1, 21, 3, 4, 6-9, 11, 12, 14, and 16-18Yes
15optical cable link [2]
NoYes
16internet [2]
1
17servers [2]
1
18test equipment [3]
testing device
1Yes
19packet
inputs
31, 2, 6-9, 11, 12, and 16-18Yes
21selector switch [3]
55 and 15Yes
22signal
gain control
gain control device
51, 3, 4, 6-9, 11, 12, 14, and 16-18Yes
23ADC
digital converter ADC
5Yes
24converter
54 and 14Yes
25demodulator [4]
51, 3, 4, 9, 12, and 14Yes
26card controller [6]
input connector
5Yes
27reference clock
5Yes
28measurement blades [3]
one measurement blade
5Yes
29chassis controller [9]
controller
NoYes
30back-plane [3]
measurement blades
NoYes
31power supply
NoYes
32GUI display [4]
display [2]
graphical user interfaces GUI display
graphical user interface
3Yes
55not in the specification1Yes
10not in the specification1Yes
13not in the specification1, 2Yes
99not in the specification2Yes
20not in the specification5Yes
41not in the specification6Yes
42not in the specification6Yes
43not in the specification6Yes
44not in the specification6Yes
46not in the specification6Yes
45not in the specification6Yes
48not in the specification6Yes
47not in the specification6Yes
51not in the specification6Yes
52not in the specification6Yes
61not in the specification6Yes
62not in the specification6Yes
63not in the specification6Yes
64not in the specification6Yes
65not in the specification6Yes
66not in the specification6Yes
67not in the specification6Yes
68not in the specification6Yes
69not in the specification6Yes

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conventional
Conventional
standard
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each
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preferred
all
single
needed
must
consists
without
both
every
only
unique
completely
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however
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invention
INVENTION
embodiment
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Acronym use in the specification

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Acronym Definition in Specification Identified Issues
ADC analog-to-digital converter

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CATV Cable Television

Acronym is used before being defined; check first letters

CM

Acronym is not defined in text

CM1

Acronym is not defined in text

CM2

Acronym is not defined in text

CM3

Acronym is not defined in text

CMTS Cable Modem Termination System
DOCSIS Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification

Acronym is used before being defined

GUI graphical user interfaces
I/Q

Acronym is not defined in text

I-Q in-phase quadrature

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MAC media access control

Acronym is used before being defined

MER modulation error ratio

Acronym is used before being defined

MODEM

Acronym is not defined in text

MSO multiple service operator
OCAP Open Cable Application Protocol

Acronym is used before being defined

RF

Acronym is not defined in text

TDMA Time division multiplexed access

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WE

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Specification Text

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UPSTREAM SIGNAL QUALITY MONITORING
TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention relates to monitoring and displaying dynamic quality information of TDMA carriers over time and different transmitters, and in particular to identifying impairments in the upstream channels of a CATV type bi-directional network using cable television protocols, such as DOCSIS or OCAP protocols.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The upstream path of the Cable Television (CATV) Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) or Open Cable Application Protocol (OCAP) communication scheme can be impaired for various reasons. Figure 1 illustrates a conventional cable TV network that has DOCSIS or OCAP internet access. A Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) has three connections: 1) a network interface to servers 17 via the internet 16; 2) downstream control and data delivery via a signal combiner 2; and 3) upstream control and data reception via a signal splitter 3. Figure 1 illustrates one Node of a CATV plant, which serves up to 200 homes with DOCSIS or OCAP service. Often a Hub will have over one hundred Nodes and a city the size of Indianapolis can have five or six hub sites.
The downstream signal of the CMTS 1 is coupled with the other signals, e.g. TV, Test, Telephony or others, via the Signal Combiner 2. The output of the Signal Combiner 2 is connected to a Fiber Transceiver Node 4, which converts the combined downstream signal suite from RF signals to optical signals, and delivers the combined signal suite to a remote location via a fiber optic link 5. The downstream optical signals are converted back to RF signals at a Transceiver Node 6, which is also optically coupled to the optical link 5. The RF signals from the transceiver node 6 are delivered to different residences via a cable Distribution Network 7. Certain residences 8, 9 and 10 use cable modems CM1, CM2 and CM3, respectively. A control signal from the CMTS 1 is detected and demodulated by each of the cable modems CM1, CM2 and CM3. When a cable modem, e.g. CM1, CM2 or CM3, wants to talk back to the CMTS 1, the cable modem will wait until the CMTS 1 indicates that the upstream path is free, the cable modem then requests a time slot from the CMTS 1 via an upstream signal. The upstream signal is coupled to the distribution network 7, and then converted to an optical signal at the fiber transceiver 6. The upstream optical signal travels back to the hub site or head-end via optical cable link 15, where a fiber transceiver 4 optically connected to the optical cable link 15, converts the upstream optical signal back to an RF signal. The upstream RF signal is then routed to the signal splitter 3, where a portion of the upstream signal is sent to the CMTS 1. The CMTS 1 thus becomes the link between the cable modems CM1, CM2 and CM3 and the servers 17 via the internet 16.
Time division multiplexed access (TDMA) is the preferred communication link, since each cable modem CM1, CM2 and CM3 is randomly picking a time to request upstream signal transmissions, and packet sizes from the cable modems CM1, CM2 and CM3 vary. Various other systems and features can be applied which extend the behavior and improve noise immunity, but essentially TDMA is used. The cable modem transmissions, i.e. bursts, are at random intervals from an outsiders point of view.
Referring to Figures 1 and 2, each cable modem CM1, CM2 and CM3 will transmit a packet 19 or series of packets 11, 12 and 13, respectively, in either a blank time slot identified by the CMTS 1 or into a scheduled timeslot assigned by the CMTS 1. The distribution network 7 combines all of the CM packet series 11, 12 and 13 together into a single upstream signal 14, whereby all of the individual series are indistinguishable from an outside observer. OCAP operates similarly to the DOCSIS protocol and engineers familiar with the state of the art would see the commonalities and differences, in particular OCAP is used for set-top box command and control.
A problem exists for upstream path monitoring in the DOCSIS 3.0. protocol, because DOCSIS is improving the upstream path bandwidth, building in the capacity for quadrupling or more the amount of data that will be sent back to the CMTS 1 by using four data channels instead of the one or two channels currently in use. Accordingly, the CATV upstream path is becoming more crowded, which presents a problem for return path monitoring. The spectrum which was formerly empty now contains signals, and looking for noise is more difficult; accordingly, better ways are needed to prove that the CATV upstream path is performing optimally. New monitoring systems must be able to monitor in a crowded or full upstream spectrum.
The conventional method of monitoring consists of setting thresholds for specific frequencies from a spectrum scan. If the signal crosses these thresholds, it is assumed that there is a problem on the network; unfortunately, this can lead to false prioritization for node repair. Monitoring MER is one method of gauging active channel performance without counting on empty spectrum. Since bad MER is the equivalent of losing data, and the multiple service operator (MSO) revenues are based on both modem data traffic and set-top box data traffic, setting alarms based on these raw numbers is a more effective way of prioritizing nodes to work on. Combine this with the current monitoring statistics, and the user will find out when they can schedule field maintenance with a metric that has a direct impact on revenue.
The distribution network, illustrated in Figure 1, has a number of possible impairments that can affect the CM upstream signal. Some of the impairments affect every cable modem, whereas other impairments affect only a subset of modems. Another object of the present invention is to find the impairments that affect only a subset of the cable modems.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, the present invention relates to an apparatus for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a cable protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising:
a demodulator for receiving and demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
a measurement system for determining a modulation error ratio (MER)
Another feature of the present invention relates to a method for monitoring an upstream signal, which includes a plurality of packets from a plurality of cable modems, in a CATV bi-directional network using a DOCSIS or an OCAP protocol, each cable modem having a unique MAC address, comprising the steps of:
a)demodulating the packets in the upstream signal;
b) determining a modulation error ratio (MER) and a MAC address for each packet received; and
c) displaying the MER for each packet as a function of the received packet number with a corresponding MAC address;
whereby individual cable modems causing low MER are identifiable.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings which represent preferred embodiments thereof, wherein:
Figure 1 is a schematic representation of a CATV network;
Figure2 illustrates individual and combined cable modem upstream signals;
Figure 3 is a schematic representation of a test demodulator according to the present invention;
Figure 4 is a plot of MER vs packet received; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
Monitoring MER instead of level, gives the customer more meaningful information about the health of the upstream path, i.e. a real metric of how much revenue is impacted by noise. Monitoring with levels is ambiguous and at best an educated guess as to whether the upstream signals are being impacted by noise on the system. Conventional alarms are generated and work is scheduled based on these guesses, when the noise could be completely benign to the upstream path being monitored.
Monitoring MER for each incoming packet shows the Cable Operator the customers upstream signal quality hitting the signal splitter 3 in the CATV network headend. MER quality is a direct indicator of how the upstream signal 14 is impacted by noise. Measuring the MER multiple times per second and building statistical models for the MER will give the MSO a real actionable alarm or warning. Nodes will be prioritized based on the quality of the MODEM signal getting back to the headend. Displaying MER values and packet numbers will give the technician further information as to who and where the problem exists, e.g. whether all the packets have high MER indicative of a network problem or only a subset of the packets have high MER, indicative of a node or a cable modem problem. Moreover, specific location information can be obtained, when the MAC address is obtained from the packet and cross referenced to a customer database of cable modems. Furthermore by checking the equalizer taps and decoded I/Q data for failing packets recovered from the demodulator 25, as is well known in the art, the cause of the data transmission failure can be identified.
With reference to Figure 3, in accordance with the present invention, a combined upstream signal 14, as detailed above with reference to Figure 1 and 2, is transmitted to a testing device 18. The testing equipment 18 can have hundreds of inputs 19 to accommodate the hundreds of nodes in a hub site, which is achieved by having a scalable test device system adaptable to accommodate a large number of measurement blades 30. Each test device 18 has a power supply 31, a chassis controller 29, a back-plane 30 and at least one measurement blade 28 plugged into, i.e. electrically connected, to the back-plane 30. The chassis controller 29 configures each measurement blade 28 through the back-plane 30 and communicates to the outside world via a graphical user interfaces (GUI) display 32. Each measurement blade 28 runs tasks scheduled by the chassis controller 29.
The test equipment 18 demodulates the combined upstream carrier signal 14 for multiple packets. The standard quality metric for a DOCSIS or OCAP carrier is Modulation Error Ratio or MER. Measuring average MER over a period of time from the upstream signal, has limited value; however, a plot of the MER of each valid packet can be used to identify poorly performing cable modems. According to an embodiment of the present invention, the test equipment 18 demodulates the signal 22, calculates the MER for each individual signal, determines the MAC address for each signal, and displays the information enabling a technician to see and determine whether individual cable modems are the cause of low MER.
Figure 4 illustrates three traces viewable on the graphical user interface 32: the lower trace (with square points) is the quantity of symbols or data transmitted in the packet. The upper solid trace is the MER for the each packet measured, and the dotted trace is the average MER over packets 1 to n, where n is the packet number. The unique address, Media Access Control or MAC address, of the cable modem, e.g. CM1, is transmitted at the beginning of each packet. After demodulation, the data from the packet can be mapped, and the MAC address can be determined. Each point on the graph of Figure 4 has a MAC address associated with it; accordingly, when a technician looks at the graphs of Figure 4 on the display 32, they will be able to see the varying MER, determine if the varying MER is caused by a single cable modem or by plant variations. Furthermore, the chassis controller 29 can compare the MER to a threshold value stored in memory associated with the controller 29, if this threshold is exceeded which is indicative of a faulty cable modem, then the in-phase quadrature (I-Q) information from the demodulation can be stored in the memory for analysis later. The measurements illustrated in Figure 4 can be done on a continuous basis or on a sampled basis.
Figure 5 illustrates one of the measurement blades 28 with eight different input ports, i.e. port 1 to port 8, making up an input connector 26 for connection to eight different nodes in a CATV network, as in Figure 1. A card controller 26 controls a selector switch 21 and selects one of the ports, e.g. port 1, i.e. one of the hubs, for testing. A gain control device 22 connected to the selector switch 21 is adjusted under control of the card controller 26 to match the known amplitude of the selected node in the CATV network to an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) 23 connected to the gain control 22. The ADC 23 is clocked utilizing reference clock 27 at a frequency at least two times the highest frequency on the upstream path. A down converter 24 selects the upstream channel to demodulate, and routs the selected upstream channel to a demodulator 25. The demodulator 25 then feeds the MER information to the card controller 26, which reports to the chassis controller 29 to be delivered to the outside world via the display 32, logged away in memory for viewing later or collected for statistics or trend analysis.
At regular intervals the card controller 26 will start a task, which instructs the selector switch 21 to select a port to be measured and the modem frequency to be monitored. The demodulator 25 will then capture the CM signal 14 and demodulate. The results of demodulation, the MER value and the number of symbols in the packet captured, will be stored in a memory array which is passed to the card controller 26. The card controller 26 then passes the value array to the chassis controller 29. The chassis controller 29 will store this array away in memory until the user decides to view the data. The user will request the data from the GUI display 32. The GUI display 32 then requests the time frame and port that is under test from the chassis controller 29. The chassis controller 29 will then sort the data and pass it to the GUI display 32. The GUI display 32 will then format the data and plot it on a strip chart.
WE CLAIM:
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE
The problem is that a measurement of the average signal quality (average modulation error ratio), does not identify poor quality signals that may be originating from an individual cable modem. The device of the present invention displays the modulation error ratio (MER) for each packet received. Since the media access control (MAC) address is associated with a packet received from an individual cable modem, a graph displaying the MER for each packet received is also displaying the MER for signals from the individual cable modems. Thus a technician viewing the display will be able to identify whether a low MER is a result of an impairment in the network or the from an individual cable modem.