Comcast throttles up DOCSIS 3.0 in Philly; nearly 50% of total footprint D3

Wed, 07/22/2009 - 8:55am
Mike Robuck

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, has deployed its DOCSIS 3.0 service in the entire Philadelphia area, as well as completed the rollout of the faster wideband service throughout all of its Freedom Region, which includes Philadelphia suburban counties, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware.

Last year, Comcast was the second MSO, after Canada’s Vidéotron, to launch DOCSIS 3.0. Today, Comcast said the service is deployed in nearly 50 percent of its entire footprint. Comcast’s stated goal is to have DOCSIS 3.0-enabled data services in 30 million homes and businesses by the end of the year. The number of homes represents 65 percent of Comcast’s footprint.

Comcast uses DOCSIS 3.0’s channel bonding in order to offer downstream speeds of 50 Mbps. Like in other markets, Comcast also said it was doubling the speeds for the majority of its high-speed Internet customers in the Philadelphia area at no additional cost.

The DOCSIS 3.0 market launch included the Pennsylvania counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, as well as southern New Jersey and northern Delaware. Comcast is using cable modem termination systems (CMTSs) from Arris and cable modems from Cisco/Scientific Atlanta. The speed upgrades started in December.

“Wideband utilizes our existing advanced fiber-optic network in neighborhoods across our footprint. With this next-generation service, our customers' online experience is dramatically enhanced," said Amy Smith, senior vice president of Comcast's Freedom Region. "This new service will enable us to continue to offer our customers even faster
speeds and an entirely new realm of Internet innovation."

Comcast’s DOCSIS 3.0 tiers are Extreme 50 and Ultra. Extreme features download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and upstream speeds of 10 Mbps for $99.95 per month with a subscription to Comcast’s video or voice services. Ultra clocks in with 22 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up at a cost of $62.95 per month when paired with the company’s video or voice offerings.

Business customers will also have access to the new wideband services. Customers can sign up for the Deluxe 50 Mbps/10 Mbps tier for $189.95 per month, while the Premium tier has speeds of 22/5 for $99.95.

Comcast increased the speeds for its existing Performance tier residential customers, who will now benefit from doubled downstream and upstream speeds offering up to 12 Mbps and 2 Mbps, respectively.

Comcast said its Performance Plus customers will be upgraded to Comcast's Blast! tier, which will double their download speeds to up to 16 Mbps and provide up to 2 Mbps of upload speed, and Comcast also has its PowerBoost technology for bursts of even faster speeds.

Comcast faces competition from Verizon in Philadelphia, which is where the cable operator has its headquarters, after Verizon was awarded a 15-year video franchise earlier this year. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was a proponent of Verizon’s franchise agreement, but he lauded Comcast’s DOCSIS 3.0 deployments.

"I applaud Comcast and their efforts to be the first to bring the benefits of advanced wideband Internet to all areas of our city," said Nutter. "We are proud of hometown companies like Comcast that enrich our lives through their innovation and investment."

Verizon hasn’t launched its FiOS video and data services in Philadelphia to date, but it expects to have the services available in parts of the city before the year is out.

More Broadband Direct 07/22/09:
•  Comcast throttles up DOCSIS 3.0 in Philly; nearly 50% of total footprint D3
•  FCC nominees get OK; FCC may revisit fee schedule
•  Cablevision's free Wi-Fi service reaches Rockland, Orange counties in N.Y.
•  Failure to find buyer preceded Charter bankruptcy
•  IBM to OEM Juniper gear for data centers
•  R.L. Drake's digital upgrade platform deployed by service providers
•  Nortel creditor trumps NSN's $650M bid
•  New e-book reader to use AT&T network
•  Report: IPTV subs to total almost 40M homes in 2009
•  Apple's Q3 beats forecasts despite recession
•  Yahoo to spend more after cost cuts lift Q2 profit
•  Broadband Briefs for 07/22/09



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