Cable Technology Feature Article
Cable Speeds Beef up to Match Fiber Broadband Offerings
By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor
Comcast (News - Alert) and Cox have announced higher-speed broadband offerings, both eyeing to take away business from local phone companies. Comcast's offering appears to match the latest-and-greatest Verizon (News - Alert) FiOS home offering while the lower-key Cox is aiming to add more money into its billion dollar plus business division.
Extreme 305, Comcast's fastest home broadband offering to date, is available through most major markets in its Northeast division (Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, and New Jersey). It delivers download speeds up to 305 Mbps and upload speeds up to 65 Mbps. Customers purchasing the highest tier of service also get bundled in Xfinity Signature Support Complete Home Service, 24/7 tech support that normally costs $19.95/month; a wireless router; and the Constant Guard Security Suite.
Image via Shutterstock
Speaking of wireless, Comcast boasts that it also has the fastest home wireless gateway. A recent analysis conducted by Allion Test Labs, showed the Xfinity Wireless Gateway (News - Alert) outperformed the gateways offered by two other Internet service providers in both speed and range, providing approximately 155 Mbps of wireless bandwidth along with routing and cable modem functions.
Comcast's speed hike is in response to Verizon's Quantum FiOS package. The home offering announced in June of this year delivers 300 Mbps download speeds and 65 Mbps upload speeds. Cost of the service is a whopping $210 per month on a two year contract and enables customers to download a 5 GB file -- about the size of a 2 hour HD video -- in a bit over two minutes.
Cox Business (News - Alert) is now offering 80 and 100 Mbps high-speed Internet tiers in Lafayette, Louisiana, the first Cox market nationwide to offer the higher speed options for small and medium business customers. The company just completed a $4.8 million upgrade to its fiber-based network in Acadiana using DOCSIS 3.0. Additional markets will launch this year and early 2013. Cox Business owns and operates its own high-speed fiber optic network and is able to proved up to 10 Gbps speeds for the most demanding business requirements.
Over the past four years, Cox Business has invested over $12 million in expanding the commercial fiber infrastructure in Lafayette and the Acadiana area. It has a fully redundant fiber ring in Lafayette and a regional fiber ring throughout Acadiana, connecting to a larger fully redundant fiber ring that serves the Southern Louisiana area connecting Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Cox says it is the largest commercial fiber network in Southern Louisiana.
Expect to see more high-speed announcements from the cable industry in the months to come as it continues to leverage its investment in DOCSIS 3.0 and fiber optic infrastructure. All MSOs want to increase residential ARPU (average revenue per user) and continue to encroach upon small and medium business markets traditionally owned by local and competitive phone companies.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman