& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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. 
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.