Broadband in the Last Mile. Access Technologies for

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7 Constant-Bit-Rate (CBR) or Variable-Bit-Rate (VBR) Channels Some channels support a CBR delivery and some may only support VBR. , interference and other users. Furthermore, channels shared among multiple users generally provide VBR to each Copyright © 2005 by Taylor & Francis individual user because the available rate depends on the other traffic (number of users and time-varying characteristics of each). Media communication or streaming over a VBR channel is challenging, as is discussed shortly, because the available rate must be estimated and the media rate matched to the available rate.

A number of applications require low latency (low end-to-end delay), including conversational applications such as voice over IP, videophone, videoconferencing, and interactive games. These applications also require a streaming solution, but the major difference is that the requirement of low latency imposes significant constraints on the system design. , tens of milliseconds as opposed to multiple seconds. , only I- and P-frames for video coding and no B-frames because of the additional delay.

Media communication or streaming over a VBR channel is challenging, as is discussed shortly, because the available rate must be estimated and the media rate matched to the available rate. Broadband wired networks are generally shared packet networks that provide a constant bit-rate channel that is shared among all the users. This shared channel provides challenges, as mentioned earlier, but it also provides some advantages for streaming of VBR media streams. Specifically, multiple independent VBR media streams are highly unlikely to require their peak bit rates simultaneously.

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