Comcast targets 65 percent of footprint for 3.0 by end of year
Comcast plans on having its DOCSIS 3.0-enabled data service in 30 million homes and businesses by the end of the year. The number of homes represents 65 percent of Comcast’s footprint.
Comcast also said it has the DOCSIS 3.0 service up and running across 30 percent of its footprint. Earlier this month at the SCTE Canadian Summit, Comcast’s Chris Bastian, senior director of network architecture, said 35 percent of Comcast’s cable modem termination systems (CMTSs) were ready for DOCSIS 3.0 (story here  on Comcast’s 3.0 plans).
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 $139.95 month. Ultra clocks in with 22 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up at a cost of $62.95 a month. 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 a month.
Comcast’s DOCSIS 3.0 speeds have already begun launching in 10 major markets, including the Twin Cities, the Boston Metropolitan region and parts of Southern New Hampshire, the Philadelphia Metropolitan area, parts of New Jersey, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Ft. Wayne, Portland and Seattle. Comcast said it will launch additional new markets in the weeks and months ahead.
Comcast is currently bonding three channels on the downstream with plans to start bonding upstream channels next year.
Comcast used pre-DOCSIS 3.0 wideband modems from Cisco in its first launch of wideband services in the Twin Cities in April. Comcast is also working with Arris, Motorola and other DOCSIS 3.0 vendors.
DOCSIS 3.0 can achieve downstream broadband speeds of up to 160 Mbps by bonding 6 MHz – or in the case of Europe and some parts of Asia and Latin America, 8 MHz – channels together. DOCSIS upstream channel bonding can provide up to 120 Mbps of shared throughput for cable operators.
Current requirements for DOCSIS 3.0 call for equipment to support channel bonding on at least four upstream and four downstream channels, although the platform gives operators the flexibility to bond as few as two channels to meet market needs and competition.