Docsis 3.0 Modems: ~$70 each

11:15 AM -- Mid-sized MSOs like Bresnan Communications LLC have recently lamented that the high price of Docsis 3.0 modems is keeping service deployments in check, holding that the speedier wideband devices are roughly twice the price of Docsis 2.0 modems. (See Bresnan's 'Insurance Policy' .)

The good news is that the price is coming down, at least for major MSOs that may soon be buying Docsis 3.0 modems in volume. Consider Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), which just launched a 101-Mbit/s (downstream, shared) tier in all of its systems, to be in that group. (See Cablevision Debuts 101-Mbit/s Wideband Service.)

Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's COO, told Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett this week that standalone Docsis 3.0 modems cost about $70 each, but could come down to the $35 range (where Docsis 2.0 modem pricing is today) once the devices are "manufactured in scale."

When manufacturing will reach that point is, of course, the big question, but Rutledge's comments should vindicate Broadcom senior director of marketing Jay Kirchoff, who predicted in January that D3 modems were on pace to hit the sub-$50 range... someday. (See Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight .)

But even with wideband modems priced at the loftier $70 level, it's hard to see how Cablevision can justify the $300-plus premium it's charging for a Docsis 3.0 install and service activation. (See Activating Wideband .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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