'Surgical' Strikes

10:55 AM -- While Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) moves aggressively with Docsis 3.0, with plans to wire up 20 percent of its systems for the platform this year and everywhere by mid-2010, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) reaffirmed yesterday that it will go about deploying the speedy technology much more methodically. (See Comcast Enters the Wideband Era .)

Time Warner Cable will deploy Docsis 3.0 "on a surgical basis," MSO COO Landel Hobbs told the crowd at the Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. Media and Entertainment Conference. Evidently, the MSO's "Turbo" tier has been able to handle the heavy lifting so far.

Still, Time Warner Cable's disciplined rollout isn't a surprise considering that New York City, where the MSO will go toe-to-toe with Verizon Enterprise Solutions 's FiOS bundle, is among the first TWC markets that will get the Docsis 3.0 scalpel. (See Britt: Docsis 3.0 Coming to NYC and Time Warner Cable Faces FiOS Attack.)

But, earlier in the day, Comcast Cable president Steve Burke was quick to point out that speed isn't the only benefit of 3.0. It supposedly also gives operators more bytes for the buck. Based on the throughputs Docsis 3.0 can pump out, it's about half as expensive to roll out as earlier-generation gear, Burke said.

Docsis 3.0 modems, which are cable of bonding together at least four upstream and four downstream channels, cost more than single-channel 2.0 modems, but the denser cable modem termination system (CMTS) architectures used for Docsis 3.0 are about 50 percent more economical. (See CMTS Downstream Prices Plummet.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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