While Comcast has garnered a lot of attention for its aggressive rollout of DOCSIS 3.0 data services, Shaw Cablesystems is also pushing the envelope up north.

During a recent earnings call, Comcast said it would have DOCSIS 3.0 rolled out to 80 percent of its footprint by year’s end, which was up from the 65 percent the company previously targeted. Shaw, which launched its 100 Mbps wideband service in February, expects to come close to Comcast’s target by this fall. Shaw currently has DOCSIS 3.0 deployed in 17 percent of its footprint.

By bonding all four downstream channels out of the gate, Shaw held the lead for the fastest DOCSIS 3.0 service in North America until Cablevision one-upped Shaw with its 101 Mbps service in April.

Dennis Steiger, vice president of engineering for Shaw Cablesystems, said his company went to great lengths to make sure its 100 Mbps service was provisioned not just in the cable modems, but also the cable modem termination systems and peering points in order for customers to experience the service at its full speed.

“We wanted to make sure the whole network would support 100 Mbps, from the cable modem to peering points,” he said. “We didn’t want to offer them a 100 Mbps service on a 50 Mbps pipe, so we made sure we provisioned the 100 speed across our network.”

Ivan Lamoreux, Shaw’s director of IP networking engineering, said Shaw also kept its DOCSIS 2.0 customers in mind as it prepped for the D3 service.

“We were already load balancing DOCSIS 2.0 modems on two or three channels in most of our systems,” he said. “By going to four channels, we provided additional bandwidth for the traffic growth of our DOCSIS 2.0 customers, while at the same time supporting a 100 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 service. Going to four channels also allowed us to most efficiently utilize the DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS downstream equipment – both M-CMTS and I-CMTS.”

Dermot O’Carroll, senior vice president of network engineering and operations for Rogers Cable Communications, said Rogers would debut a DOCSIS 3.0 service sometime this month. Rogers will start out with 50 Mbps on the downstream and 2 Mbps on the upstream, with a price tag of $149.99 per month.

“We’ve had [DOCSIS 3.0] in the network being trialed and tested, and we’re launching it as a commercial service in August,” O’Carroll said. “The plan is to start in the Toronto area, and as we progress, we will roll it out across the country.”

More Broadband Direct 08/17/09:
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