Comcast says it has turned on world's first DOCSIS 3.1 'gigabit class' modem in Philadelphia

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Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) says it has established the first real-world deployment of a "gigiabit-class" DOCSIS 3.1 modem on a customer-facing network in its home city of Philadelphia. 

"At a home in the Philadelphia area, we took the next important step forward in delivering gigabit speed broadband over our hybrid fiber coaxial network," said Comcast CTO Tony Werner in a company blog post. "The test used the standard cable connections that we have in homes across the country. All we needed was a new modem, a software upgrade to the device that serves that neighborhood, and a few good engineers.

"We will continue testing over the coming months, as we get ready to start delivering DOCSIS 3.1-powered service to our customers," Werner added. "Before the end of 2016, we will begin offering a new gigabit speed choice that works over the existing connections in our customers' homes in several parts of the country."

Comcast is among a number of U.S. cable operators transitioning to CableLabs' DOCSIS 3.1 standard in an effort to compete with fiber-based network operators offering broadband speeds of 1 gigabits per second and higher. DOCSIS 3.1 networks are capable of download speeds of up to 10 Gbps and upload speeds of up to 1 Gbps. 

Comcast said it plans to have its entire broadband footprint enabled with the technology by 2018. Werner said the MSO has already expanded trials to other parts of Pennsylvania, as well as Northern California and Atlanta. 

"The beauty of DOCSIS 3.1 is that it is backwards compatible, so no digging up streets or backyards," he said. "This technology, when combined with the extensive upgrades we have already completed on our advanced Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial network, will provide more gigabit choices for our customers.

"Over the coming months, we will activate more test homes with this state of the art DOCSIS 3.1 technology so that we can observe how it performs in multiple real-world environments and make whatever minor modifications necessary to get it ready for deployment to our customers," Werner added. 

For more:
read this Comcast blog post

Related articles:
TWC's Marcus: DOCSIS 3.0 still has a lot of juice in it
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Comcast: DOCSIS 3.1 acceleration is being driven by new broadband competition

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