Comcast hits the pedal on DOCSIS 3.0 in Bay Area
Comcast’s DOCSIS 3.0 wideband service is up and running in the Bay Area.
Comcast’s DOCSIS 3.0 speeds have already begun launching in 11 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, Ind., Portland, Ore., and Seattle. Comcast said it will launch additional new markets in the weeks and months ahead.
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 per month. Ultra clocks in with 22 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up at a cost of $62.95 per 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 per month.
“Wideband utilizes our existing fiber-optic network in neighborhoods across our footprint. With this next generation of service, our customers’ online experience is dramatically enhanced,” said Steve White, senior vice president of Comcast’s California Region. “And this is just the beginning. Wideband, combined with our fiber-optic network, gives us the capability of meeting the needs of our customers for many years to come by offering even faster speeds in the future.”
Starting yesterday, Comcast’s new services were available to residential homes (and beginning March 10 to all businesses) in the San Jose-Silicon Valley area (Alviso, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Mount Hamilton, Mountain View, Saratoga, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale); in portions of the East Bay (Alamo, Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Castro Valley, Clayton, Clyde, Concord, Danville, Diablo, Discovery Bay, Dublin, Knightsen, Lafayette, Livermore, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pacheco, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hills, Pleasanton, Rossmoor, San Ramon, Sunol and Walnut Creek); and in the Monterey-Salinas area (Carmel, Carmel Valley, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside and Spreckels).
From the Monterey Peninsula to the Tri-Valley, customers will soon be surfing the Web even faster. The faster speeds will be available in other portions of the Bay Area later in 2009.
Comcast currently has the DOCSIS 3.0 service up and running across 30 percent of its footprint. Last 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 ).
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.