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Midcontinent turns up 200 Mbps tier

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:40am
Mike Robuck

Midcontinent Communications doubled the speeds on most of its data tiers, which included the debut of a 200 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up service.

The speed increases were system-wide—without price increases—except in remote areas within Midcontinent’s footprint of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

“Faster is always better. We designed our network from the beginning to be robust and expandable to match customer demand. Recent extensive testing proved that a doubling of our speeds was achievable and even helped handle traffic more efficiently. With this change we feel we’ve anticipated and jumped ahead of demand,” said Jon Pederson, vice president of technology at Midcontinent.

Along with the 200 Mbps service option, Midcontinent also offers tiers of up to 100 Mbps/10 Mbps and up to 60 Mbps/6 Mbps.

Spurred on by the multitude of devices in homes and bandwidth intensive streaming services, Peterson said the demand for broadband speed and capacity has increased over the past few years, doubling every 15 months.

“With speeds such as these we may be exceeding the capacity of some home networks. Wireless connections and older equipment in particular may be designed for slower connectivity. Hardwired connections with the newest, gigabit-capable hardware will help to insure the fastest speeds,” said Pederson.

Pederson said in an email to CED this morning that Midcontinent was bonding eight channels on the downstream and two on the upstream.

“The upstream channels are each 6.4 MHz wide running at 64 QAM,” according to Pederson. “We did have to free up some bandwidth to go to eight channels and that was completed a couple of years ago. We now have a limited analog line-up. 

“We like to keep our service group sizes reasonable, and we were also very aggressive at swapping out modems.  As a result our cable modems are approximately 80 percent DOCSIS 3.0.”

Pederson said Midcontinent uses cable modem termination systems from Cisco and a variety of cable modem vendors.

According to the recently published Netflix Speed Index, Midcontinent ranked third in Netflix streaming performance in the United States.

YouTube has also released its “Video Quality Report, which tool measures how well an ISP delivers streaming videos. Midcontinent Communications was listed as “HD Verified,” which meant users should expect smooth playback even with HD content.

Midcontinent serves more than 300,000 customers throughout North Dakota and South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

 

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