Supersonic DOCSIS: 15 Gigabit Cable 2020, 50-80 Gigabits 2030

BlackbirdTom Cloonan of Arris is confident of remarkable speeds. (Video and transcript below). At CableLabs' 2015 summer event he predicted DOCSIS would reach 15 gig (shared) in a few years and 50-80 gig a decade later. 15 gigabits would require using 1.7 GHz and higher speeds would require going to 6GHz and more. Jeff Baumgartner at Multichannel calls this "supersonic DOCSIS." 

"Sound crazy?" Cloonan asks. "Maybe, maybe not." Higher frequencies attenuate quickly in longer cables. If you run fiber to the edge of the drop cable, the loss is modest. At CableLabs, they demonstrated a 6 GHz signal over 50 meters of drop cable. 50 gigabits, here we come.
DSL has already done this, going from 1.5 megabit HDSL in 1995 to near gigabit over 106 GHz in 2015, Cloonan graciously acknowledges.

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Gigabit cable for Montreal, Suddenlink & Alaska

Every cableco has plans but how will they price? Using DOCSIS 3.0, Videotron now is serving customers in Montreal (pr below) with the whole city set to upgrade in the near future. Hitron modems are going into use in the U.S., presumably at Altice's Suddenlink and at GCI in Alaska. (Also below). Suddenlink is charging $109 for the gigabit.

Comcast and Cox also offer a gigabit in many areas but today it's mostly a pr stunt. Comcast is charging $300/month and $1,000 for the install. They run a dedicated fiber and deliver the service as they would for a large business.

Both companies tell me they will switch to using their existing coax when DOCSIS 3.1 is ready.

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10% Speed DOCSIS 3.1 to Australia in 2016

Vombatus ursinus -Maria Island National Park wikipediaAustralia's NBN damaged
by wombats and politicians
As gigabits deploy, why throttle down to 100 megabits? Since 2005, DOCSIS 3.1 was designed to go to a gigabit and more, shared. But NBN will only offer 100 megabits when it rolls out in a year or two, NBN CTO Dennis Steiger tells Alan Breznick at Light Reading. The equipment cost for a gigabit will be similar to the 100 meg cost. Next year, most cablecos will begin using gigabit-capable modems for new customers whether or not they have gigabit service. The cost to the carrier of the extra bandwidth would normally be less than $2/month/customer, often far less. 

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Comcast-Time Warner:$10 for poor families, 50 megabits for most

David Cohen

David Cohen announced at TPI Aspen most of the subscribers in both Comcast and Time Warner will soon have 50 megabit service. Poor families will be able to get broadband for $10/month in New York, Los Angeles and other Time Warner territories. Other groups in need may be covered. (I suggest Medicaid recipients and less affluent senior citizens.)

I applauded when Cohen said, "Comcast strongly supports net neutrality" some issues remain with their practice. I was sitting at a table with senior AT&T & Verizon execs who looked glum. Net Neutrality will sidetrack the Bells' effort to get their "New Telecom Act" through Congress, Congressman Rick Boucher predicted. "Unless Net Neutrality is compromised, the bill won't go through in the next two years." Any support for neutrality makes it harder for the Bells to get their bill.

Comcast's $10 offer for the poor has connected more people to the net than $billion of mostly wasted government money. The program's not perfect, but Comcast has consistently simplified procedures and eliminated red tape. It's tragic that JG allowed the other cable companies to renege on their commitment to do similar made to the broadband planners. The Bells have done nothing for the poor. They've now have some of the highest prices in the developed world. The cheapest offering on Verizon's FiOS website is about $75 including fees; it was about half that a few years ago.

CEO Brian Roberts and EVP David Cohen strike me as decent men who want to do the right thing, especially for the poor. Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon likewise demonstrated good faith in his dealings and was very proud he delivered two of the best networks in the world, FiOS fiber and the first really big LTE network. They are hard driving and very effective businessman who undoubtedly have charged over many on the way to great riches. Almost no one gets to their level without making choices that put their company's interests before consumers. Of course they know they get pr value from moves like these, but they at least get done. As we say in Yiddish, most top executives I've met would rather be mensches than gonifs.

Not all succeed.