& cplSiteName &

Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/24/2012
50%
50%

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has unleashed a new Docsis 3.0 tier that will max out at 305Mbit/s downstream and 65Mbit/s upstream and sell for $299.95 per month as the operator looks to one-up a new 300Mbit/s FiOS service that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) launched about a month ago.

Comcast has introduced the new tier, called Xfinity Platinum Internet, in several Northeastern systems, including Boston; Hartford, Conn.; Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pa.; Wilmington, Del; Baltimore; Richmond, Va.; Washington; and New Jersey. In those markets, Comcast is also upping the speeds of its Blast! Tier from 25Mbit/s to 50Mbit/s; while Extreme 50 customers will now get 105Mbit/s at no extra cost. Comcast hasn't identified where the new speeds will debut next, but most of its footprint is already upgraded to Docsis 3.0. (See Comcast 'Completes' Docsis 3.0 Rollout.)

DSL Reports caught wind of the new 305-Meg tier late last week after Comcast Cable President and CEO Neil Smit brought it up during a webcast with employees.

In addition to the faster speeds, the new Platinum tier also comes with a wireless gateway, a "dedicated Personal Communications Consultant" assigned to the customer, Xfinity Signature Support (which regularly sells for $9.95 per month) and the company's Constant Guard Security suite.

Why this matters
To hit those speeds, Comcast is starting to take full advantage of Docsis 3.0 modems that can bond eight downsteam channels and four upstream channels. A new chip from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) is capable of bonding 24 channels and eight upstream channels.

Update: Comcast confirmed that it is using fiber and its Metro Ethernet platform, not Docsis 3.0, to deliver the new 305Mbit/s tier, at least at this early stage. The MSO is content to use fiber for "ultrafast" speed tiers (those that offer more than 200 Mbit/s) while it gauges consumer demand for such residential products. Comcast, however, is using Docsis 3.0 to deliver its 105Mbit/s residential high-speed Internet service. (See Comcast, HBO Back Zeebox.)

Comcast's new tier is largely a marketing play, as it's unlikely that many of Comcast's residential customers can afford it or even need speeds that burst to 305 Mbit/s. However, Comcast, as Verizon suggested when it launched its newest tier, said the loftier speeds will come in handy as more of its customers simultaneously connect to the Internet via tablets, laptops and smartphones to do things like stream movies, upload photos and use videoconferencing apps.

Comcast's launch should also get some positive attention of regulators that are reviewing the proposed sale of wireless spectrum from four cable operators, including Comcast, to Verizon Wireless . There are some concerns that the spectrum sale and service bundling agreements between the cable ops and the wireless carrier will result in less landline broadband and video competition between the two sides. (See Verizon & Comcast Deny a TV Truce .)

For more



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:42 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


In markets where these tiers end up going  head to head, Verizon's 300-meg tier's undercuts Comcast's price fairly deeply  -- Verizon's is running $209.99 per month with a two-year contract or $209.99 per month without. Not that it will matter too much early on with the few people who will want and pay for these tiers, but.. JB


 


 

craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:26:42 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


You're right that at this point it's more of a marketing ploy, but these Comcast systems still need to devote a sizeable amount of bandwidth to pull this off. If my math is right, it's the spectrum equivalent of about 30 HDTV channels.


So where are they coming up with the bandwidth? Is this the treasure trove that came from giving out all those small DTA boxes so they could reclaim their analog spectrum?


From small things, mama, big things one day come (Bruce Springsteen).            

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:41 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


Also, it will be worth keeping an eye on who this tier attracts. Seems like a nice SMB play since data peak times for businesses typically don't overlap with the  peak times usually seen for residential Internet service. JB

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:41 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


Yes, eight channels is quite a bit to put toward this new service. Since Comcast is not big on switched digital video yet to my knowledge, I imagine channels are coming way from the spectrum reclamation project with the DTAs and maybe the ability to cram more HD channels into 6MHz slots. I was a bit more surprised to see that they were able to get to 65Mbit/s in the upstream, another big indication that upstream channel bonding is finally ready to go. JB





 




Flook
50%
50%
Flook,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:32 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


305 megs v. 300 megs--no significant advantage. Or did I miss something?

Soupafly
50%
50%
Soupafly,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:26:27 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


Is this s typo by Jeff?


"Verizon's is running $209.99 per month with a two-year contract or $209.99 per month without."


Surely the variable that's not mentioned in the article, is the over-subscription level on the head-end?  The providers can offer some very fast headline speeds, but if the o/s ratio is 20:1 then your basically only guaranteed 15Mb/s.


Or am I missing something? Its been awhile since I worked on cable networks. :-)





Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:27 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


Flook - You're not missing anything; there's no difference that any user would ever notice.


Actually, if I want to be a jerk about it (and apparently I do) .... the difference is that "305" will always remind you that Verizon beat Comcast to this speed grade, because Comcast had to tack on the extra "5" to make it sound like they weren't behind.

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:07 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


Yep, the price with the two-year contract should be $204.99 per month. We'll get that fixed. JB

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:20:19 PM
re: Comcast Revs Up Pricey 305-Meg Tier


Some confusion on my part... i originally believed that Comcast was using Docsis 3.0 for this new tier, but in fact they are using fiber and its new MetroE service early on as it tries to figure out what sort of demand there is for that product. Full story on that and why Comcast made that decision is here.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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 Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (0) comments


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: Payment From Every Device

3|21|17   |   5:55   |   (0) comments


A world where everything and everyone is connected creates new points of interaction for commerce. These digital experiences cannot be developed in isolation and instead require an ecosystem to drive mass consumer and enterprise adoption and create better consumer engagement. Predicting when that growth will happen is difficult, but always keeping the end user in ...
LRTV Interviews
InterDigital's Role in the 5G, IoT Era

3|21|17   |   05:47   |   (0) comments


Alan Carlton, managing director and VP for Europe at InterDigital, talks about the company's role in 5G projects in Europe and the prospects for the company in the IoT market.
LRTV Interviews
Lessons Learned From Digital Transformation

3|21|17   |   05:51   |   (0) comments


Ravi Palepu, global head of Telco Solutions at Virtusa, talks about some key takeaways from telco digital transformation experiences during the past couple of years.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
NetNumber's CMO Shares Her Diversity Do's

3|21|17   |   3:19   |   (2) comments


The telecom industry is transforming the world, and diversity plays a critical role in driving the innovation behind it. NetNumber CMO Kim Gibbons shares why diversity and being authentic is a do amidst all the don'ts women in comms often hear.
LRTV Custom TV
Software-Driven Architecture for 5G & IOT

3|20|17   |   1:56   |   (0) comments


We present Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges's report from Mobile World Congress -- where operators and vendors are working to bring a variety of technologies together to make virtualization a reality in the era of 5G and IoT.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
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
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: Italy First Pasta the Post for 5G
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/17/2017
5G Faces a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/17/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
SXSW Pics: Women, Weirdness & Waiting in Austin
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 3/16/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
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.