While 105MBPS won’t get headlines in much of western Europe, Japan or Korea, it’s a glimmer of hope in bandwidth starved America. Waterloo Iowa now leads the US, shaming the major cites that continue to languish with DSL and old DOCSIS speeds that are pretty much the same as they were a decade ago.
The Courier article quotes a Mediacom exec on the reason for picking Waterloo. “First of all, the physical network in place is very robust,” he said. “It is in great shape, and we know that the product will perform well from a technical side… We also wanted to select Waterloo as indicative of a typical Midwest community. We had heard that the business community was questioning whether Waterloo was keeping pace. …We think this says Waterloo is keeping pace.”
It was certainly sporting of a company like Mediacom to care about the feelings of Waterloo’s business community, but the city might also have been chosen for other reasons. Waterloo is contiguous with Cedar Falls, which houses the University of Northern Iowa and also features a city-owned cable and Internet operation. (ARS Technica)
Meanwhile back in Washington the feds are contracting out more broadband maps….and building nothing.
While broadband isn’t very competitive in the UK, the fact remains it far more competitive than in the US. Case in point: Virgin just dropped the price of a 5oMBPS connection to around $65 with no mention of usage caps. In contrast, Comcast’s best deal is $99 if you are even in an area where you can get it.
U.K. cable provider Virgin Media has announced price reductions for its next-generation broadband services in response to the recession. The price of its flagship 50 Mbps broadband service, which includes a phone line, will be reduced from GBP 46 to GBP 39 effective September 1. (Communicatins Technology)
The problem here in the colonies is no competition. The telcos have brought their broadband upgrades to a hault. In this non-competitive climate, the cable guys will most likely offer upgrades only where they can get a high take rate with a high premium price until someone goes them one better. With telco focus on a “stimulus” money pot for rural and wireless, and a couple more telco / cable chronies recentyl added to the FCC’s board , I predict no change.
Here’s a lesson for Time Warner Cable. If you want more revenue and happy customers, do something positive and outdo the telcos that you are supposed to be competing with. Cablevision rolled out free WiFi in its footprint about a year ago without charging a dime more for the service. Now the company is offering the biggest consumer bandwidth in the US for a price that undercuts FiOS.
The new service will offer download speeds of 101 megabits per second and upload speeds of 15 Mbps for a cost of $99.95 per month. It will be available May 11 to all 5 million of the people in areas served by Cablevision, mainly in the New York City suburbs.
Cablevision is deploying a new technology called Docsis 3 which can utilize more of the capacity of a cable television system for data, offering both higher capacity and lower costs. In Japan, J:Com uses the same technology to offer 160 Mbps service for 6,000 yen ($60) per month.
Yes, the new offering still lags behind the best of world standards, but it’s the best deal going here in the land of the free. It’s absolutely certain that Cablevision will see revenues grow and not a single protest or complaint call will be made in response to its roll out. I can only hope that the Time Warner crew has attended this short clinic. This is the right way to grow revenue.
While Time Warner pushes draconian usage caps onto its broadband customers, a simple $20 upgrade to the same DOCSIS infrastructure is pushing cable ahead of all competitors in Japan.
Pretty much the fastest consumer broadband in the world is the 160-megabit-per-second service offered by J:Com, the largest cable company in Japan. Here’s how much the company had to invest to upgrade its network to provide that speed: $20 per home passed.
The cable modem needed for that speed costs about $60, compared with about $30 for the current generation.
By contrast, Verizon is spending an average of $817 per home passed to wire neighborhoods for its FiOS fiber optic network and another $716 for equipment and labor in each home that subscribes, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.
Those numbers from Japan came from Michael T. Fries, the chief executive of Liberty Global, the American company that operates J:Com.
His larger point: “To me, this just isn’t an expensive capital investment,” he said.
The experience in Japan suggests that the major cable systems in the United States might be able to increase the speed of their broadband service by five to 10 times right away. They might not need to charge much more for it than they do now and they’d still make as much money. New York Times
The reality is, my fellow Americans, that we’re being conned by the telco / cable duopoly and the federal government that it has paid to keep any real competition at bay.
While our American duopoly noodles around with caps and new ways to charge more for less instead of making real improvements, the rest of the world keeps moving forward. In the Netherlands, DOCSIS 3 is not just for a few, but will soon be universally available to all in Liberty Global’s footprint. Competitors will have to respond with better, cheaper or both. All of this is happening in a part of the world that is considerably more regulated, taxed and has higher labor costs than the US. So much for the declaration that the US marketplace is competitive. Are you reading this FCC Chairman Martin?
Liberty Global Inc. has launched a 120 Mbit/s broadband service in the Netherlands using EuroDocsis 3.0 gear, and says it plans to roll out the equipment and launch similar services throughout Europe in the coming 15 months. (See UPC Deploys EuroDocsis 3.0.)
The company’s UPC Netherlands business, which passes 2.7 million homes and has more than 660,000 broadband customers, has launched its new “Fiber Power” service in a handful of locations, including Amsterdam, and will roll it out through the rest of the country during the next few months, reaching all of its customers by next year, says a company spokesman.(Cable Digital News)
Touting a $315 million investment in DOCSIS 3 sounds huge, except it works out to a measly $100 per subscriber. With the anticipated high cost of the Cablevision’s 30MBPS uncapped tier, that investment should be recouped in the first quarter or two. Very few businesses enjoy such handsome ROI’s. Having said that, I wish I could get it here at whatever price.
Today, Cablevision’s fastest tier runs at 30Mbps over DOCSIS 2.0, and is truly uncapped — allowing users to get as much speed as the network will allow. Rutledge says the company spent nearly $20 million on both DOCSIS 3.0 deployment and their plan to offer Cablevision customers free Wi-Fi during the second quarter. “The total capital for that [combined project] over a three-year budget cycle is about $100 per customer or in the range of $315 million,” says the COO. (DSL Reports)