DOCSIS 3.1 deployments shift into high gear

While the future of tech talk has shifted to the concept of Full Duplex DOCSIS, deployments of DOCSIS 3.1 continue at a rapid pace, demonstrating the continued strength of cable and its hybrid fiber/coax ...

Progress report: Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1
Progress report: Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1

While the future of tech talk has shifted to the concept of Full Duplex DOCSIS, deployments of DOCSIS 3.1 continue at a rapid pace, demonstrating the continued strength of cable and its hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network.

Gigabit Internet speeds delivered via DOCSIS 3.1 networks have been rolling out both in U.S. markets and internationally.

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), as one might imagine, has not been sitting idly by, and has announced intentions to wrap up its DOCSIS 3.1 deployment by the end of the year. Within the last six months, the cable giant has launched gigabit in a number of new places, including Houston; Mobile, AL; Jackson, MS; Houma, LaPlace, Shreveport, and Monroe, LA; additional markets in Florida; parts of central and western Pennsylvania; areas of Vermont and Connecticut; and certain regions in West Virginia and Maryland.

Comcast's rates for gigabit services ranges, but as an example, in Vermont, the residential offering is $104.95 per month without a contract and $89.99 per month for 12 months. Business service rates depend on several factors, including the company's physical address, number of locations to be served, and the services to which the business currently subscribes.

Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) recently announced an expansion of its DOCSIS 3.1-based gigabit footprint to an additional 14 million homes in parts of eight states, including California, Texas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and North Carolina.

Charter says this brings the number of homes where Spectrum Internet Gigabit service is available to 23 million homes. The company has plans to deploy the service to almost its entire 41-state footprint by the end of the year.

WOW! (NYSE:WOW) kicked off the new year by launching its DOCSIS 3.1 gigabit Internet service in several new markets, including Augusta and West Point, GA; Charleston, SC; Chicago and Naperville, IL; Cleveland and Columbus, OH; Detroit; Valley, AL; several markets in Michigan and Tennessee; and Panama City and Pinellas, FL.

WOW!, in March, deployed DOCSIS 3.1 network upgrades in Columbus, GA, and large portions of Huntsville and Montgomery, AL. This means that the Englewood, CO-based cable operator provides gigabit services to 95 percent of its footprint and has met the benchmark it set for itself in November.

Midco has launched its Midco Xstream Gig gigabit Internet service in Minot, ND, and 10 surrounding communities. There have been other deployments in the Dakotas and Minnesota. These have used CCAP gear from Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and modems from ARRIS )NASDAQ:ARRS) and Hitron Technologies. Midco has said it will add other vendors' DOCSIS 3.1 modems as they become available.

Internationally, UPC Poland (Liberty Global) plans to introduce DOCSIS 3.1 by the end of the year. Poland is the second market in the Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) footprint to announce rollout of gigabit speeds.

In South Korea, SKBroadband rolled out a DOCSIS 3.1 pilot service in the Anyang area of the Gyeonggi Province and the Gwangui area of the Jeollanam Province. The company is using the Cisco cBR-8 converged broadband router and says it has been able to reach 4 Gbps in the downstream and 1 Gbps upstream. Large-scaled deployment is expected during the next six months.

A company called Unitymedia activated DOCSIS 3.1-based gigabit Internet connections for 170,000 households in the city of Bochum, in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. This is part of what it is calling its Gigabit-City Initiative.

And from the vendor perspective, Oclaro announced in March that it is making production shipments of its tunable SFP+ industrial temperature range DWDM transceiver. It is intended for cable companies deploying DOCSIS 3.1 to push fiber deeper into the HFC network to reach Remote PHY nodes.

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