DOCSIS 3.0 Arrives

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Comcast today announced it is offering DOCSIS 3.0 in Oregon and Southwest Washington. In December, Comcast’s new cable modem services will be available to residential homes and businesses throughout the communities that Comcast serves.

Comcast will offer a range of services including the Extreme 50 tier with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps. Comcast says Extreme 50 can download a 6 GB movie in about 16 minutes. DOCSIS 3.0 uses channel bonding, which enables multiple downstream and upstream channels to be used together by a single subscriber.

“We’ll have the capability to deliver even faster speeds in excess of 160 Mbps,” said Curt Henninger, Senior Vice President of Comcast Oregon and SW Washington. “Today’s announcement reaffirms Comcast’s commitment to offering nearly every customer in the Northwest the ability to enjoy some of the fastest Internet speeds available today.”

The New Residential Tiers are:

  • Extreme 50, offers up to 50 Mbps of downstream speed and up to 10 Mbps of upstream speed at $139.95/month.
  • Ultra provides up to 22 Mbps downstream, 5 Mbps of upstream speed at $62.95/month.

Comcast also is increasing speeds for most of its existing customers

  • Performance Plus customers will be upgraded to Comcast’s Blast! tier, which will double their download speeds to up to 16 Mbps and provide up to 2 Mbps of upload speed.
  • Plus, with PowerBoost® technology, customers are able to enjoy even faster speeds to download and upload files such as videos, games, music and photos.

New Business Class Tiers

  • The Deluxe 50 Mbps / 10 Mbps tier costs $189.95/month. Comcast Business Class customers receive Microsoft Communication Services, providing corporate-class e-mail, calendaring and document sharing, as well as additional benefits such as firewall protection, static IP addresses, multiple e-mail addresses and business class 24/7 customer support.
  • Existing business class customers also will receive complimentary speed increases—speeds on the Starter tier will be doubled to up to 12 Mbps / 2 Mbps and a new Premium Tier also will be introduced, offering speeds up to 22 Mbps / 5 Mbps for $99.95/month.

Following its initial launch in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, Comcast unleashed Docsis 3.0 in the MSO’s New England region (including Boston), and parts of New Jersey and Philadelphia. Comcast has committed to wire about 20 percent of its markets, roughly 10 “major” markets serving a total of 10 million homes and businesses, by year’s end. The MSO has previously said it expects to have all of its systems Docsis 3.0-ready by mid-2010.

This morning a Comcast installer came to my apartment in Portland. I asked about DOCSIS 3.0. “What’s that”?, he asked. He’d never heard of it.

Installers get paid by piece-work. A simple cable modem installation (like mine) nets the installer $30. A Triple play install nets $70. My installer, who was a SysAdmin and has Microsoft Certification, had 8 installs scheduled today (Nov 18). At $50 per install, that’s about $400/day. My cable modem install took 20 minutes.

I’ve been waiting for Clearwire to offer service in Portland. I even have a Xohm Express Card (ordered from Baltimore). But I’ve waited a year for Clearwire. I can’t wait anymore.

Digital cable channels typically are allocated above 552 MHz, the upper frequency of cable channel 78. Between 552 and 750 MHz, there is space for 33 6-MHz channels (231–396 SDTV channels). I was told that Comcast will eliminate analog channels next year. Bad news for cheapskates like myself without a converter box or DTV.

With the capacity savings of an all-digital environment, cable operators will offer more HD programming, DOCSIS 3.0, VOD and other personalized services.

By reclaiming 330 MHz, in an all-digital environment, operators can include 348 SD or 87 HD channels (that use 174 MHz); 156 switched digital video channels (48 MHz); data and voice services (18 MHz); 2,000 VOD titles with up to 160 in HD (24 MHz); and interactive television and tru2way (12 MHz).

Comcast could be fined for its inadequate response to an FCC request for information on digital upgrade policies, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said on Tuesday. The FCC received complaints that some cable operators are ratcheting up prices for programming packages or requiring customers to buy digital set-top boxes for fewer channels ahead of the digital switch on Feb. 17.

D-Day in 90 Days.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 at 10:02 am .

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