Land of the Rising Speed

If you want to enjoy Docsis 3.0-based Wideband speeds in excess of 100 Mbit/s, you might consider packing your bags and heading to Japan.

While some of the early Wideband rollouts by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Vidéotron Telecom Ltd. are limiting downstream bursts to 50 Mbit/s (hey, we're never happy, right?), MSOs in Japan continue to push the speed envelope to even loftier heights. Of course, based on the level of speed competition there from fiber-to-the-home and advanced DSL service operators, who can blame them?

The latest Japanese MSO to ratchet up speeds is iTSCOM, which just placed a "significant order" for the Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS)C4 cable modem termination system (CMTS), which was awarded "Bronze" Docsis 3.0 qualification late last year. (See Arris Grabs CMTS Order and Cisco, Arris & Casa Make the CableLabs Grade.)

The operator's "Kattobi Super Wide" high-speed Internet service will cap the downstream at 160 Mbit/s, and 10 Mbit/s in the upstream. iTSCOM passes about 1.1 million homes, and presently offers high-speed data service to 123,000 subs, so there's clearly some room for growth.

Jupiter Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (J:COM) , the largest Japanese cable operator, is also marketing a 160 Mbit/s service using gear from Arris and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT). (See J:COM Spreads the Wealth and J:COM Bonds With Motorola.)

Closer to home, it appears that Comcast did itself a favor by selecting the Twin Cities for its first Wideband deployment. (See Comcast Enters the Wideband Era .) Although Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q)'s DSL service has appeared weak by comparison to cable modem offerings, its new 20 Mbit/s and 12 Mbit/s tiers should apply some much-needed competitive pressure. (See Qwest Moves Quickly With FTTN.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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