Light Reading

MSOs Poised to Pass 100M Homes With Docsis 3.0

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

DENVER -- Cable Next-Gen Broadband Strategies -- North American cable operators will have Docsis 3.0 deployed to 100 million homes, equal to about 73 percent of all cable homes passed, by the end of 2012, according to Heavy Reading 's latest forecast.

Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Alan Breznick presented his latest forecast here on Tuesday morning, predicting that the same group of MSOs will have D3 in front of 115 million homes, or 80.2 percent of homes passed, by the end of 2015. After a slow start in 2008, cable's deployment of Docsis 3.0 surged in 2009 and 2010, and is now starting to see smaller, incremental gains each year as MSOs such as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and RCN Corp. complete their rollouts. (See Comcast 'Completes' Docsis 3.0 Rollout.)

Cable operators have primarily used Docsis 3.0 to deliver downstream bursts of 100 Mbit/s or more to counter fiber-to-the-home competition and to serve small and mid-sized businesses. In the U.S., Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s FiOS currently tops out with a tier that offers 150 Mbit/s downstream and 35 Mbit/s upstream.

Touting speeds will still remain a component of cable's Docsis 3.0 game plan, but, with much of the initial buildout of wideband complete, Breznick now expects MSOs to begin to apply more focus on new applications and services that take advantage of those speeds.

He believes some of that focus will be on new IP video services, enhanced business-class services, and new revenue drivers such as home security and monitoring. He also believes MSOs will rely more heavily on Docsis 3.0-capable Wi-Fi access points to backhaul traffic on their hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks.

More to come
What's next for Docsis 3.0 is just one topic our panel of experts will be discussing today. Please be sure to check back, as we'll have much more coverage of the event, including updates on cable's IPv6 and IP video migrations, the industry's shift into wireless broadband, and what's on the horizon for the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) and a budding Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) standard called EPON Over Coax (EPoC).

Marwan Fawaz, a founding principal at Sarepta Advisors and the former CTO of Charter Communications Inc. , will also offer his insights on the broadband opportunities and challenges that cable operators face today.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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