Wideband Cometh?

Tomorrow (Wednesday, February 6) could mark an important milestone in the development and deployment of cable channel bonding, one of the key attributes of Docsis 3.0, a platform that promises to produce share speed in excess of 100 Mbit/s.

Canadian MSO Vidéotron Telecom Ltd. announced it will host a press conference Wednesday morning to offer details about a "brand new very high speed Internet product."

Details are slim, but as DSL Reports points out, the MSO will likely base its announcement on so-called "pre" Docsis 3.0 technologies and start off with a tier that beefs up downstream speeds.

Presently, Videotron's fastest cable modem service tier, dubbed "Extreme High-Speed Internet Plus," uses a single Docsis channel to deliver up to 20 Mbit/s downstream and 1 Mbit/s in the upstream.

But the MSO has also been an early adopter (or tester, at least) of Wideband technology. About a year ago, Videotron, which has 1.6 million subs in Quebec, indicated that it was preparing to become one of the first North American cable operators to introduce speeds of more than 100 Mbit/s. At the time, it said it demonstrated "tested and managed" downstream speeds as high as 98 Mbit/s using the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) uBR10012 cable modem termination system (CMTS) and Wideband modems from Cisco corporate cousins Scientific Atlanta and Linksys . (See Videotron Plans 100-Mbit/s Service.)

On Wednesday, Videotron is expected to provide more details about a commercial launch of a Wideband-based product tier, along with some information about market rollout plans and pricing. If so, it will mark the first commercial deployment of Wideband in North America.

Further south, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has indicated plans to deploy a Docsis 3.0 infrastructure to about 20 percent of its footprint by the end of this year. However, the MSO has not said where or when it plans to introduce cable modem services based on the faster platform. (See Comcast Closes In on 100 Mbit/s.)

CableLabs has already awarded Cisco's flagship CMTS with Bronze-level Docsis 3.0 qualification, meaning that its support of IPv6 and downstream channel bonding checked out. To date, no cable modems have been awarded Docsis 3.0 certification. (See Cisco, Arris & Casa Make the CableLabs Grade.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Docsis 3.0 Strategies: From Product Development to Service Deployment, a conference that will take a comprehensive look at the cable industry's plans to roll out its next-generation architecture around the world. To be staged in Denver, March 19, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

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