Monday, August 24, 2015

Comcast DOCSIS 3.1: Gigabit Everywhere by 2016; 10 Gbps Built In

Comcast’s timetable for supplying gigabit connections to all of its present and potential customers is stretching out. Comcast originally had suggested it might be able to do so in 2015. Then the schedule lengthened to 2016 first quarter.

Now Comcast says it will happen “as soon as” 2018. That slipping timetable is not unusual for massive technology projects.

That might not be terribly important. Right now, “gigabit” is more a marketing platform than a core end user requirement.

Perhaps more significant: though the access network might need reinforcement, the new DOCSIS 3.1 platform Comcast is introducing is capable of supporting 10 Gbps in the downstream.

Australia’s National Broadband Network is introducing the same platform. Some question how soon cable companies really can deliver downstream speeds close to 10 Gbps without allocating more bandwidth, which would have to be taken from video services.

Some of us would argue that is coming. The large video bundles are increasingly out of favor, providing incentives for cable operators to reallocate bandwidth to high speed access, and away from video.

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