DOCSIS 3.0 yummy-yummy to cable customers, companies

Happiness for Comcast's high-speed craving broadband customers translates to speeds of up to 50 Mbps with the roll-out of DOCSIS 3.0. The company's Extreme 50 service has been turned up fairly smoothly and is winning over speed junkies.

Gartner is predicting broadband users subscribing to 25 Mbps or faster service will increase from 1 percent of total users in 2008 to 27 percent by 2012. Comcast, driven Verizon's 50 Mbps FiOS Internet service, is aggressively expanding its roll-out of DOCSIS 3.0. The cable provider claims it can offer up to 50 Mbps connectivity to some 10 million homes passed in markets including Philadelphia, New Jersey, Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle and Portland, Ore. It expects to be able to offer "wideband" speeds to 50 million of its households nationwide before the end of 2010.

Doing some legwork, Multichannel News interviewed about a dozen of Comcast's speed-demon customers using the company's 22 and 50 Mbps services. Most are thrilled with the service, but there seems to be more attraction to the 22 Mbps service because it's only $62.95 and only $10 more per month (with a triple-play bundle) than the basic 16 Mbps service; Extreme 50 with 50 Mbps download speeds costs an extreme $139.95 per month.

Analysts point out that few people are going to pay the price premium for 50 Mbps service, as typical broadband customers are satisfied with speeds of around 5 Mbps, according to a recent In-Stat survey.

For those that want it, the speed enables download of an HD movie from Apple's iTunes store in about 15 minutes, and smoking people when playing Halo 3 on Xbox Live without even a hint of lag.

Deploying DOCSIS 3.0 also gives cable companies the ability to enhance their baseline tiers of service for no extra charge, enabling them to keep customers who might be tempted to take the leap to FiOS.

For more:
- Multichannel News article

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