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The upstream scheduling in broadband cable access networks (CANs) does not efficiently support two-way multimedia applications. The dominant standard in CANs, Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS), leaves the design of upstream scheduling open to vendors. To the best of our knowledge, no systematic analysis of the DOCSIS upstream scheduling has been published. We present a formal analysis, identify important relations among scheduling parameters, and formulate the optimal scheduling problem. We also design an optimal splitting-data-slot approach, which further reduces request contentions via piggybacking.