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 a look at cable's D3 history, please check out these stories:
- Comcast Enters the Wideband Era
- SMC: 1M Docsis 3.0 Gateways Shipped
- Comcast Preps a Docsis 3.0 Boost
- US MSOs Get Rolling With 100-Meg Wideband
- Suddenlink Unleashes 107-Meg Wideband Tier
- Docsis 3.0 Enters the Gateway Era
- Ubee Touts Docsis 3.0 Shipment Milestone
- Docsis 3.0: It's More Than Speed
- Liberty Exec Details D3's 'Sweet' Economics
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable