Claiming a world first, US cable operator Comcast announced that it plans to launch a Docsis 3.1-powered Gigabit internet service to residential and business customers in Atlanta and Nashville “in early 2016”, followed by Chicago, Detroit and Miami in the second half. The technology will enable Xfinity residential and Comcast Business Internet customers to receive Gigabit speeds over lines already connected to most customers.
Comcast announced in December 2015 that it had installed its first Docsis 3.1 modem in Philadelphia, another was installed a few days later in Atlanta. Once Comcast’s rollout is complete in a market, customers with gigabit-capable devices will be able to get the service by signing up for a new plan and plugging in a new modem.
Comcast sees Docsis 3.1 as having the potential to make ultra-fast speeds available more widely than FttH, which typically requires new construction and specialised installations. Comcast central division President Bill Connors said of the move, “Docsis 3.1 represents a tremendous step forward in our commitment to keeping customers at the technology forefront. Combined with all the upgrades we have already put into our advanced fibre optic-coax network, this technology will not only provide more gigabit speed choices for customers, it will also eventually make these ultra-fast speeds available to the most homes in our service areas.”
The cable company launched its Gigabit Pro fibre-based Gigabit Pro service in Atlanta in April last year, offering symmetrical 2 Gbps speeds, before extending it to Nashville, Miami, Chicago, Detroit and other markets. Gigabit Pro is now available to 18 million homes across its footprint.