Cablevision Systems Corp. is using out-of-band overlay technology from Narad Networks to deliver dedicated data services starting at 50 Mbps to commercial customers.

Initially, Cablevision has Narad-enabled two nodes serving customers in Oyster Bay, N.Y.

Narad's overlay technology lives on the existing HFC plant, but taps into spectrum above 860 MHz and below 1.1 GHz. Although Cablevision is starting with a 50 Mbps dedicated data service, the Narad platform the MSO is deploying is capable of raising that figure to 100 Mbps. Narad said its architecture roadmap is built to eventually support symmetrical 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps services.

Because it's an overlay, the technology does not require Cablevision to touch plant that's already underground.

"This proves that our HFC networks, in addition to our pure fiber networks, have no inherent capacity limits for multiple levels of residential as well as commercial services, and can provide this very high level of service without the expense and time delay of network redesign or new construction," said Cablevision EVP of Technology and Engineering Wilt Hildenbrand, in a release.

Cablevision marks the first announced deployment with a "major" MSO for Narad, which is also handling WiFi backhaul for CAIW in the Netherlands, and commercial voice services for Delta Cable in Vancouver.

Narad, along with competitors like Xtend Networks, is aiming to help operators offer business-class services via existing HFC networks using spectrum beyond that used for residential offerings.

"Out-of-band [cable technology] is coming into its own," said Narad COO Chuck Kaplan. "It's really all about spectrum. If you're going to be engaging in a competition where the main element of that competition is capacity, sooner or later you have to get more spectrum."

Kaplan said costs for Narad deployments range from $3,000 to $6,000 per customer. Based on the level of services those businesses subscribe to, operators can expect a return-on-investment within six months to a year, he added.