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Bay Area Gets Wideband

As expected, MSO takes on AT&T with a Docsis 3.0-fueled 50-Mbit/s cable modem offering while juicing up its other high-speed tiers

Jeff Baumgartner

March 3, 2009

2 Min Read
Bay Area Gets Wideband

As expected, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has launched Docsis 3.0 in the tech-savvy Bay Area, starting off with an "Extreme" tier that pipes in up to 50 Mbit/s downstream and 10 Mbit/s upstream. (See Comcast Rolls Wideband in the Bay.)

Comcast is kicking off wideband service in the Silicon Valley area, portions of the East Bay, and the Monterey-Salinas area. Rollouts in San Francisco, Oakland, and the remainder of the Bay are due later this year.

Mapping out wideband

Comcast's primary high-speed competitor in the market is AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) U-verse, whose "Max 18" tier offers 18 Mbit/s down and 1.5 Mbit/s upstream.

The residential version of Extreme costs $139.95 per month. The business-class offering, set to debut on March 10, will sell for $189.95 per month.

A Comcast exec had hinted at the recent Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Canadian Summit in Toronto that the MSO was close to offering Docsis 3.0-fueled services in the San Francisco area soon, with Denver among other cities that are near the top of Comcast's list. (See Comcast Widens Wideband Footprint .)

Comcast has set a goal of wiring up 35 percent of its footprint, equal to 30 million homes and businesses passed, by the end of 2009. The MSO wants its entire territory connected by the end of 2010. (See Comcast Sets Wideband Goal .)

It's completed about 30 percent of that job, with launches under way in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Boston, Philadelphia, and parts of New Jersey, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, southern New Hampshire, and Ft. Wayne, Ind. (See Comcast Wraps Up '08 Wideband Rollout .)

In concert with the Docsis 3.0 launch in the Bay Area, Comcast is also introducing "Ultra," a single-channel modem tier that caps the upstream at 22 Mbit/s down, and 5 Mbit/s up.

As it's done in earlier Docsis 3.0 deployments, Comcast is also ratcheting up some of its other residential model tiers. The "Performance" package gets doubled to 12 Mbit/s down by 2 Mbit/s up. Existing "Performance Plus" customers will be upgraded to the 16 Mbit/s by 2 Mbit/s "Blast!" offering.

Docsis 3.0 uses channel-bonding techniques to produce shared speeds greater than 100 Mbit/s. However, Canadian MSO Shaw Communications Inc. is the only cable operator in North America so far to hit that lofty mark. (See Shaw Breaks 100-Meg Barrier.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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