& cplSiteName &

Comcast Goes N+0 in Gigabit Markets

Mari Silbey

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Gigabit Cities Live! 2015 -- When Verizon introduced FiOS in 2005, the company's fiber network expansion was immediately visible to the world. But Comcast has been pushing fiber deeper into its network for years, and while the company hasn't widely advertised the fact, that investment is now making it possible for Comcast to push out multi-gigabit services with a goal of making its Gigabit Pro service available to 18 million homes by the end of the year. (See Comcast Preps 2-Gig Service… Over Fiber.)

Here in Atlanta Wednesday morning, Comcast Vice President of Network Architecture Rob Howald was cautious about quantifying the operator's fiber reach. He did acknowledge, however, that in select gigabit markets, the company is driving fiber deep enough into its network that each node ends up serving only about 100 subscribers. That's significantly smaller than a typical serving group size for cable operators, which can range anywhere from 250 subscribers to 500 or more.

Howald also noted that Comcast is looking at additional markets where it can follow the same strategy, which includes deploying a node-plus-zero (N+0) architecture. N+0 means there are no amplifiers required between a node and a subscriber household -- a calculation that indicates just how close fiber is getting to each subscriber's front door.

In addition to pushing fiber deeper into the network, Comcast is also deploying 1GHz nodes in its gigabit markets and it's evaluating the case for 1.2GHz nodes. Howald said Comcast doesn't need access to that additional spectrum today, but that as a future-proofing step, 1.2GHz could make sense.

The rollout of Gigabit broadband access networks is spreading. Find out what's happening where in our dedicated Gigabit Cities content channel here on Light Reading.

As for other bandwidth expansion techniques, Howald believes Comcast will pull the trigger on MPEG-4 deployments in more markets going forward. The company is currently running an MPEG-4 trial in Augusta, but has said very little about what that could mean for the rest of its footprint. Howald noted that moving to MPEG-4 is relatively easy to do and is a cost-effective way to regain bandwidth. Many of the set-tops that Comcast has in the field already support MPEG-4, and have so for years. (See Prepping for D3.1, Cox Expands All-Digital .)

While offering gigabit services wasn't even on the agenda a short while ago, Comcast has nevertheless been laying the groundwork for massive speed upgrades for years. Deeper fiber is a big part of that equation and Comcast will determine market by market just what it needs to bridge the rest of the gap.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders recently visited the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) where Cisco's Tetration application is providing data center analytics, simplifying SDN, helping with cloud migration and overseeing white-list security policy.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Likens DoJ Suit to Shaved Persian Cat
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 3/12/2018
Trump Blocks Broadcom's Qualcomm Acquisition
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/12/2018
John Deere Bets the Farm on AI, IoT
Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 3/12/2018
Rumor Mill: SoftBank Still Eyeing Charter
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 3/12/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed