& cplSiteName &

Comcast Goes N+0 in Gigabit Markets

Mari Silbey
5/13/2015
50%
50%

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 grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Project AirGig Goes Down to Georgia
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/13/2017
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Juniper Turns Contrail Into a Platform for Multicloud
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 12/12/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed