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The Canadian cable operator has taken over the top spot for the fastest data tier by a cable operator in North America with today's launch of its Ultimate Speed Internet 120.

As of today, Ultimate Speed Internet 120 is available in nearly 80 percent of Videotron's Quebec City footprint. The new tier has a speed of up to 120 Mbps on the downstream and 20 Mbps on the upstream.

With the launch, Videotron took over DOCSIS 3.0 bragging rights for the fastest North American tier from Suddenlink, which has a 107 Mbps tier. By comparison, Suddenlink's residential 107 Mbps offering has an upstream speed of 5 Mbps, while Comcast's 100 Mbps business tier is being offered with an upstream speed of 10 Mbps, with the exception of the Twin Cities service that features 15 Mbps.

"Ultimate Speed Internet 120 pushes back the frontier for intensive Internet users," said Robert Depatie, president and CEO of Videotron. "Today, we are launching the high-speed Internet service of the future. With the pace at which users' needs are changing, we are not so far from the day when 120 Mbps will be a must-have convenience."

The 120 Mbps wideband tier will be available in all of Videotron's Quebec City footprint by the end of the year; from there it will be rolled out across the rest of Videotron's service area.

Ultimate Speed Internet 120 will cost residential users $149.95 per month, while a business class tier starts at $219.95 per month.

As for bandwidth caps, Ultimate 120 has a download limit of 170 GB per month and an upload limit of 30 GB for residential users. The business class offering has caps of 225 GB for downloads and 125 GB for uploads.

Videotron said it picked Quebec City for its initial rollout of Ultimate Speed Internet 120 because the network was upgraded in 2006 to the financial tune of $30 million.

With its launch two years ago, Videotron was the first major cable operator in North America to offer DOCSIS 3.0-based wideband services. Videotron's initial launch comprised 50 Mbps and 30 Mbps tiers using pre-DOCSIS 3.0-certified cable modems and cable modem termination systems from Cisco.

In addition to the availability of Ultimate Speed Internet 120, Videotron said it increased the upstream speed on its 50 Mbps tier from 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps with no additional charge, and it will increase the cap from 30 GB to 40 GB starting in November.

It's been a busy year for Videotron, with the launch of its TV Everywhere Web portal in June followed by the rollout of a wireless and mobile broadband service earlier this month.

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