Videotron Opens the D3 Throttle

11:40 AM -- Videotron Ltd. is getting Docsis 3.0 speed bragging rights for North American cable with today's launch of a new tier that offers speed bursts of 120Mbit/s in the downstream, and 20Mbit/s up.

Videotron says the tier, dubbed Ultimate Speed Internet 120, is available to nearly 80 percent of greater Québec City, or roughly 310,000 homes and businesses. The MSO said it will expand the tier to the rest of the city by the end of year, and then roll it out "gradually" to other Videotron systems.

Videotron, which locks horns with BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE), is starting off the tier at $149.95, along with a monthly consumption cap of 170Gigabytes (downloads) and 30GB (uploads) that's coming into play just as Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) launches its over-the-top instant streaming service in Canada. (See Netflix Streams to Canada .)

Videotron is also offering a new 120Mbit/s D3 tier tailored to business customers, starting at $219.95. Videotron's setting the consumption cap for that tier at 250GB (downloads) and 100GB (uploads) per month.

Videotron, one of the first North American MSOs to launch wideband services, also offers a 50Mbit/s (down) D3 tier starting at $81.95. It has about 1.2 million cable modem subs. (See Videotron Hits the Gas .)

The new tier is the fastest Docsis service in North American, at least when it comes to the downstream. Suddenlink Communications previously held that spot with its 107Mbit/s tier. (See Suddenlink Unleashes 107-Meg Wideband Tier.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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