40%... & Counting

7:25 AM -- WASHINGTON -- The Cable Show -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) now has roughly 40 percent of its plant (20 million homes passed) wired up for Docsis 3.0 following recent launches in markets such as Jacksonville, Fla., and is expanding the wideband footprint in markets where those speedy services already have been launched.

That's according to Mitch Bowling, Comcast's SVP of online services, with whom we caught up briefly here at the show.

Comcast, certainly the most aggressive U.S. MSO when it comes to deploying wideband, expects to have 65 percent of its footprint ready for Docsis 3.0 by the end of 2009, and everywhere by the end of 2010. (See Comcast Sets Wideband Goal .) Comcast's still not breaking down how customers have opted for the wideband tier, but Bowling says it's fairly split between residential and business customers.

And it appears that Canada's Shaw Communications Inc. will be able to retain the bragging rights as the only North American cable MSO (so far) to offer a 100 Mbit/s Docsis 3.0 service. (See Shaw Breaks 100-Meg Barrier.)

Comcast, whose "Extreme" tier delivers 50 Mbit/s (downstream) today by bonding three 6 MHz channels, has no specific schedule to offer a 100 Mbit/s tier.

"It's on the roadmap," Bowling said, pointing out that the MSO is demonstrating those speeds at the new "Sony Style Comcast Labs" retail outlet in Philly. (See Sony-Comcast Store Has Tru2way 'Set-Back' Box and Quick Pix: Sony-Comcast Goes Retail .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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