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DOCSIS

Cogeco Fits Wideband With 150GB Cap

Cogeco Communications (Toronto: CCA) is giving Docsis 3.0 more northern exposure (and BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE) something new to think about) with the launch of a 50 Mbit/s wideband tier in some of its Ontario systems. (See Cogeco Goes With Docsis 3.0.)

The Montreal-based MSO is debuting the HSI Ultimate tier in Burlington, Oakville, Milton, and Halton, Ontario, for $149.95 per month as a stand-alone service, or for $5 less per month when bundled with Cogeco's video or phone offerings.

Like many other cable operators, Cogeco is offering a service that bonds together multiple 6MHz channels. The still-unbonded upstream path for the new tier taps out at just 1.5 Mbit/s.

Cogeco, which will offer wideband in its other systems in Quebec and Ontario "in the coming years," is outfitting the new tier with a monthly consumption cap that limits downloading to 150 gigabytes per month. Cogeco's next highest level of service, "Pro," offers 16 Mbit/s downstream and 1 Mbit/s upstream, and a cap of 100 MB. On the low end, the MSO's "Lite" tier (640 Kbit/s down and 150 kbit/s up) enforces a monthly download cap of 10 GB.

South of the border, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is trying to keep "excessive use" in check with a monthly 250 GB ceiling that applies to all levels of cable modem service. (See Comcast Draws the Line at 250GB.)

Cogeco is just the latest Canadian MSO to move forward with Docsis 3.0. While Vidéotron Telecom Ltd. was the first in the country to deploy it, Shaw's 100-Mbit/s tier remains the fastest there. Meanwhile, Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG; Toronto: RCI), Canada's largest MSO, is getting ready to offer a 50-Mbit/s Docsis 3.0 tier in the greater Toronto area by mid-August, using a modem/gateway device outfitted with 802.11n wireless LAN. (See Videotron Hits the Gas , Shaw Bows 100 Mbit/s 'Nitro' Tier, and Rogers Ramps Up Docsis 3.0.)

Cogeco's Cabovisão S.A. operation in Portugal, meanwhile, just launched two wideband tiers: Nitro 120 Mbit/s and Nitro 60 Mbit/s. (See Cabovisão Joins Europe's Speed Club .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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