Will expand over next '12-18 months' says carrier...
Comcast insiders earlier this year told Broadband Reports
that as part of Comcast's Xfinity
rebranding effort, the carrier was hoping to deliver a new 100 Mbps tier to roughly 20% of their footprint before the end of the year. 100/15 Mbps service is currently offered in only one Comcast market (Minneapolis), but at a price tag of $370 per month. Comcast now confirms to Multichannel News
that broader deployment of the 100 Mbps tier is coming, but the company isn't getting specific on price (it will likely be considerably less than the $370 price tag in Minnieapolis). From the report:
In the next 12 to 18 months, Comcast anticipates being able to offer 100-Mbps Internet service to many, if not all, of those customers, said Cathy Avgiris, senior vice president and general manager of communications and data services. The company is the biggest broadband provider in the U.S., with 15.9 million high-speed subscribers as of the end of 2009. "We're looking to introduce a residential service at 100-Meg speeds," said Avgiris, who recently was promoted to oversee Comcast's broadband as well as voice and wireless services. "For a customer who wants to take advantage of that, we'll offer that to them."
Comcast of course has been on the leading edge of DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades, and should offer 50 Mbps service to almost their entire footprint by the end of this year. They're also working on perfecting DOCSIS 3.0 upstream channel bonding, and are seeing upstream speeds of up to 75 Mbps
in both the lab and the field. Though still several years off, Comcast insiders also tell Broadband Reports
the company is already laying the groundwork for pushing downstream speeds toward 250 Mbps and beyond
. Newer DOCSIS chips support eight channels and 320 megabits down of shared bandwidth.
very few people really need those kinds of speeds (unless you work at say a observatory transmitting massive swaths of galaxy observation data), and many others won't be able to afford them -- at least they'll be there. One thing buried in the Multichannel
report is that Comcast appears to be sliding a little on their plan to have DOC 3 everywhere by year's end:
Meanwhile, whereas Comcast had previously expected to deploy DOCSIS 3.0 to 100% of its footprint by the end of 2010, Avgiris said it may be 2011 until the remaining 25% of the operator's systems are upgraded. "We will do it as aggressively as we can... but certainly by the end of this year I don't think there will be a major market that will not have DOCSIS 3.0," she said.
Still, Comcast's upgrade pace has been fairly remarkable.