I believe the patching approach is used because it can be agnostic between DVB-C RF-over-fibre and IP-over-fibre connectivity - rather than requiring an all IP approach. You just fit the correct optical converter/modem etc. at the other end.

Ah, yes, I see.

I wonder how much mileage is left for DVB-C in countries with widespread circa 1 Gig broadband domestic connections ?