Rogers has launched its DOCSIS 3.0-based wideband service in select areas of the greater Toronto area.

As mentioned in CED yesterday, the service, which is called Ultimate High-Speed Internet, has a downstream speed of 50 Mbps and an upstream speed of up to 2 Mbps. The monthly usage allowance is 175 GB, and the cost is $149.99 per month.

Dermot O’Carroll, senior vice president of network engineering and operations for Rogers Cable Communications, said the faster speed will initially launch as a commercial service for businesses.

“The plan is to start in the Toronto area, and as we progress, we will roll it out across the country,” O’Carroll said.

The DOCSIS 3.0 service followed Rogers Cable’s launch last month of what it claims is the fastest wireless home networking device available in North America – the DOCSIS 3.0 N gateway. Rogers said the combination of the DOCSIS 3.0 N gateway and DOCSIS 3.0 service allow multiple computing devices to be easily and quickly connected anywhere in the house with superior speed, reliability and portability.

“We are excited to once again bring such innovative technology and leading-edge speeds to our customers, making it an ideal service for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts alike,” said Chris Draper, vice president of product management at Rogers Cable. “Innovation is at the core of Rogers’ products and services, and with the Ultimate
50 Mbps Internet tier, our superior network and speed ensures customers continue to enjoy the ultimate Internet experience.”

The DOCSIS 3.0 specification first came to light in August 2006, when CableLabs outlined the methodology for downstream and upstream channel bonding, along with other features such as IPv6, IP multicasting and AES encryption.

DOCSIS 3.0 can achieve downstream 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.

O’Carroll said Rogers plans to use DOCSIS 3.0 to bond upstreams but is in the process of getting the gear together.

“In terms of getting both hardware and software from the CMTS vendors, we’re expecting to see that in the fourth quarter of this year,” he said. “Then we’ll start testing it and trying it out in the network in Q1 and Q2 of next year in terms of trials.”

(For more on upstream channel bonding, check out the September issue of CED.)

Last year, Videotron became the first major MSO to deploy DOCSIS 3.0 wideband data services in North America. Shaw Cablesystems plans to have DOCSIS 3.0 services deployed in most of its footprint by the end of this year.

More Broadband Direct 08/18/09:
•  Rogers kick-starts D3 in Toronto
•  Optimum Lightpath bows virtual private ring service
•  Suddenlink reaches 250,000 phone milestone
•  Sprint launches 4G in 3 new markets
•  ADB playing convergence card at IBC
•  ActiveVideo jumps in CI+ pool at IBC
•  Sharp decline in Q2 broadband net additions
•  Qwest issues notice to wireless customers
•  Analyst: Motorola's Q4 smartphone launch 'on track'
•  Agilent posts better-than-expected Q3 results
•  Broadband Briefs for 08/18/09