updated 05:50 pm EDT, Thu August 6, 2009
Comcast DOC 3 Ahead Sched
Comcast today revealed that the rollout of its much faster DOCSIS 3.0 cable Internet service is significantly ahead of its original timetable. The provider told BBR that while it had originally predicted covering 65 percent of its subscribers with the added speed by the end of this year, it now expects to reach 80 percent in the same timeframe. The next area to get a DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade should be made public in weeks, the company said.
DOCSIS 3.0 is the latest standard for cable modem access and, on Comcast's network, provides up to 50Mbps downstream and 10Mbps upstream by bonding multiple cable channels together and more than doubling what DOCSIS 2.0 can normally manage. Other providers such as Rogers are matching this speed, but in a few cases providers like Cablevision have passed 100Mbps. Wider deployment of access at these speeds is expected to spur the use of online HD video streaming and very large downloads that are normally impractical.
Comcast's accelerated launch may be partly motivated by competition, however, as AT&T's U-verse, Verizon's FiOS and other partly or completely fiber-based Internet services have often matched or exceeded Comcast's fastest Internet services in areas where Comcast is still limited to DOCSIS 2.0.