Light Reading
Cox, Mediacom, and TW Cable all boost broadband speeds to compete with Google Fiber, AT&T, and CenturyLink I Gig rollouts.

Cable Providers Boost Broadband Speeds

Alan Breznick
5/5/2014
50%
50%

Seeking to stave off the competitive threats from Google Fiber, AT&T, CenturyLink, and bother rivals, the US cable industry is fighting back by hiking its own broadband speeds and unveiling a new consumer-oriented brand name for DOCSIS 3.1

In a flurry of announcements and pronouncements over the past 10 days, three of the top eight US MSOs have unveiled plans to boost downstream as high as 1 Gbit/s. All three MOs Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , and Mediacom Communications Corp. intend to carry out the speed hikes in at least several of their biggest markets over the rest of the year.

Cox, of course, has made the biggest splash with its plans to launch 1 Gbit/s service in select markets later this year. Cox CEO Pat Esser disclosed the plan during last week's Cable Show in Los Angeles and other Cox officials later confirmed it, saying the company will rely on both its main hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) networks and all-fiber links to deliver the 1 Gig speeds. (See Cox Goes for a Gigabit .)

As it prepares for its 1 Gig launches later in the year, Cox is already boosting the top broadband speeds it offers. At the Cable Show last week, Cox CTO Kevin Hart said the third largest US MSO is now increasing its fastest downstream speeds to 150 Mbit/s to 200 Mbit/s across its service footprint.

Mediacom, the nation's eighth-largest MSO, is also revving up to deliver faster speeds across its territories. The company announced last week that it will hike its maximum downstream speed to 150 Mbit/s and its maximum upstream speed to 20 Mbit/s in all of its markets, starting in early June.

Mediacom already offers one of the industry's top downstream speeds, 305 Mbit/s, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. But it apparently doesn't plan to extend that offering to other markets yet.

At the same time, Time Warner Cable recently announced plans to bring downstream speeds as high as 300 Mbit/s in parts of New York City and Los Angeles, starting next month. The nation's second largest MSO said it will offer the higher speeds to more than 200,000 broadband customers by the end of June.

TW Cable has lagged behind most of its MSO peers in offering such broadband speeds to subscribers. But, with its move to all-digital service in New York and Los Angeles, the company is now freeing up spectrum to deliver faster data speeds.

These MSO moves all come as the cable industry seeks to position its next-gen broadband spec, DOCSIS 3.1, for the emerging Gigabit Era. With DOCSIS 3.1 designed to support speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s downstream and 1 Gbit/s up stream, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced last week that "Gigasphere" will be the new public name for D3.1.

The industry's re-branding of the geeky-sounding DOCSIS 3.1 spec does not come as a great surprise. At the SCTE Cable-TEC Expo show in Atlanta last fall, NCTA president and CEO Michael Powell ripped into the DOCSIS moniker and said the industry needed a much sexier name to sell the service to consumers. (See Powell: Rebrand Docsis 3.1.)

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
FakeMitchWagner
100%
0%
FakeMitchWagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/6/2014 | 2:55:41 PM
Re: Regulatory concerns
I'm thinking that if people can get faster Internet speed, the heat may simmer down on net neutrality, even though the two issues are only loosely related. The electorate is fickle and easily distracted. 
gconnery
100%
0%
gconnery,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/6/2014 | 12:54:52 PM
Re: Regulatory concerns
Well since the top line speed of the cable isn't what we're all panicked about, then no.

The current discussion about whether the open internet can even survive with the current FCC is centered around net neutrality, complexity and cost.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, said a thing about the maximum speeds delivered by some limited number of cable companies to a limited number of their constituents.

I mean everybody loves FiOS except that their Netflix performance recently has been awful to the point that people I know simply won't watch it anymore.  Which is presumably why Netflix caved and decided to pay them.

Should Netflix be paying them?  Are peering agreements part of net neutrality?  Should ISPs be allowed to sell "fast lanes" to companies?  What will happen if they do?  Is Wheeler basically lying?  Should ISPs be title II regulated?  Etc.  These are the things we're talking about.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/6/2014 | 12:46:48 PM
Cable Providers Boost Broadband Speeds
@KBode, I fully agree that the market for the boost speed may not be there.

Regarding de-regulation, I wonder if that is not the result of it being more connected with telecom and the communications industry?  Or do you think they truly understand the technology?

 
KBode
100%
0%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/6/2014 | 9:27:20 AM
Re: Regulatory concerns
While the narrative always seems to be that we're facing an endless stream of new regulations, broadband is a sector that has been dramatically de-regulated over the last decade to the point where we're fighting over whether or not agencies can regulate last-mile ISPs in some cases whatsoever.

Many of these speeds are nice, but they're limited in availability and pricing will remain very high as their biggest competition will be slow, over-priced DSL.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/5/2014 | 9:52:13 PM
Cable Providers Boost Broadband Speeds
@FakeMitchWagner - Do you think that is enough competition now?  I am wondering when someone will further develop a different pricing/service structure to change the game.  But even then, will that stop the regulation?  How will customers most differentiate the providers?

 
FakeMitchWagner
0%
100%
FakeMitchWagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/5/2014 | 2:42:02 PM
Regulatory concerns
As telcos and cable providers boost broadband speed, I wonder whether this will quell demands for new Internet regulations. 
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (3) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Allot's latest MobileTrends Charging Report shows that value-based pricing plans are up from 35% in 2011 to 85% in 2014.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
Cisco Puts a Fog Over IoT
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
GM: 10 Car Models on Road With AT&T's LTE
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/18/2014
Apple Earnings: Strong iPhone Sales, iPad Sales Slump, $7.8B Profit
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/22/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed