Comcast Pushes 105-Meg to 40M Homes

In an announcement that makes some of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's broadband deployment goals look like little more than a self-fulfilling prophesy, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) said Thursday that its 105Mbit/s (downstream) Docsis 3.0 tier is now available to more than 40 million homes. (See Comcast Expands 100-Meg Footprint.)

Comcast presently has Docsis 3.0 rolled to 85 percent of its footprint, wired up in most of its major markets, including San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington and most of Boston. MSO spokesman Charlie Douglas said the Extreme 105 tier, which comes with a 10Mbit/s upstream, is offered "in more than 80 percent of that same footprint."

Comcast hasn't revealed when it expects to complete its wideband deployment. Its first D3 deployment was in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., in April 2008.

Although D3 services are available in the vast majority of Comcast's footprint, the company has not said how many customers have signed up for its wideband tiers. Its high-end Extreme 105 consumer tier, which carries an introductory price of US$105 per month when bundled with voice and video services, is still a pricey proposition. Comcast ended the fourth quarter of 2010 with 16.98 million high-speed Internet customers.

Why this matters
Comcast's milestone indicates that Docsis 3.0 deployments are making significant progress in the U.S. Although it gives Comcast a competitive weapon to wield against fiber-to-the-home competition, D3 tiers have not been a barn-burner from a sales standpoint. But, looking ahead, D3 will likely serve as the bedrock for Comcast's future IP video offerings. (See Comcast Tests Broadband-Fed Xcalibur Service and Comcast 'RNG' Set-Tops Have IPTV Potential .)

And D3 can help to fuel budding over-the-top video offerings. Comcast estimates that the 105-meg tier can download a 4-gigabyte HD movie in about five minutes.

At the regulatory level, Comcast's deployment alone gets the FCC 40 percent of the way toward a stated goal to have 100-meg broadband services available to 100 million homes by 2020. So there's little chance that it'll whiff on that one. (See FCC Chair Sets 2020 Broadband Vision .)

For more
For a look at cable's D3 history, please check out these stories:

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Morely the IT Guy 12/5/2012 | 5:07:36 PM
re: Comcast Pushes 105-Meg to 40M Homes

I have Comcast's "services" before, and aside from not desiring a video package, I don't trust them to provide telephone service. What's the unbundled price of the "nominative" 105Mbps down/10Mbps up package? Knowing, of course, that actual speeds will vary significantly (probably by as much as 90% during peak usage hours).

Morely the IT Guy 12/5/2012 | 5:07:35 PM
re: Comcast Pushes 105-Meg to 40M Homes

Ah yes. Now I remember why I dumped Comcast. Thanks.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:07:35 PM
re: Comcast Pushes 105-Meg to 40M Homes

Verizon still has it with its 150-meg (downstream) tier announced last year.  Among domestic cable ops, Suddenlink's 107-Meg servcie is still tops.


Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:07:35 PM
re: Comcast Pushes 105-Meg to 40M Homes

You'll be paying much more. Unbundled for residential customers is $195 per month. Bundled and unbundled comes with a wireless D3 gateway. JB

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