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
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
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?

 
Mitch Wagner
0%
100%
Mitch Wagner,
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
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed