One billion Hertz, or, in more common usage, 1,000 MHz. Some may remember Time Warner Cable’s “Quantum” project, lit up in Brooklyn/Queens, NY in 1991. That was the first time a cable provider expanded its RF spectrum past 750 MHz, leapfrogging from 550-750 MHz. The intent was to provide the first 150 channel, two-way system. (This was before digital video compression came into play — these were 150 analog channels.) At the time, technical challenges involved how to find a 1 GHz tuner and amplifier — none existed at the time. To date, most bandwidth upgrades in cable networks top out at 860 MHz, although some operators, like Cox and Bright House Networks, are building out to 1 GHz. So far, cable providers remain confident that they have sufficient bandwidth to carry all the new services coming — even the bandwidth-hungry ones, like HDTV. But most are privately glad that 1 GHz products are available as a backup.
Usage: The GHz upgrade is one of three popular techniques to conserve or expand bandwidth – the other two being switched digital video (SDV) or analog spectrum reclamation. The techniques are not mutually exclusive, and will likely be used in combination, over time.