Bit Rate

Cablevision Spends $140 Million on Network to Blow Doors Off FCC Test

7/19/2012 3:29 PM

Remember the fight between Cablevision and Verizon over the telco’s ads — which stuck a thumb in the cable operator’s eye over its relatively poor performance on the FCC’s broadband tests released last summer?

Well, that was then.

Cablevision said it spent $140 million on upgrades to its DOCSIS 3.0 network and is now overdelivering promised speeds. On the FCC’s latest broadband test report, released Thursday, the MSO actually beats FiOS on a 24-hour basis on download speeds (see FCC Study: Cable Delivers 99% of Advertised Broadband Speeds).

For context, $140 million would represent about 21% of Cablevision’s $654.1 million in cable-related capital expenditures in 2011.

FCC broadband report July 2012 - download speeds

The FCC’s latest report, based on April 2012 data from U.K. testing firm SamKnows, found that customers of Cablevision’s core Optimum Online service received 128% of advertised speeds during peak weekday hours, and Optimum Online Boost Plus customers received 113% of advertised speeds during peak hours.

“This report demonstrates our commitment to delivering more than 100% of the speeds we advertise to our broadband customers — over the entire day and during peak hours — in addition to free access to the nation’s largest WiFi network and other valuable product features and enhancements,” Amalia O’Sullivan, Cablevision’s vice president of broadband product operations, said in a statement.

So, obviously, no more eye-rolling ads from Verizon this time.

Of course, Verizon FiOS did very well on the latest FCC report, too, although the DSL service underperformed. Mike Ritter, chief marketing officer for Verizon’s consumer and mass market business unit, said the FCC’s findings “reaffirm the results from the 2011 report, which found that FiOS provides blazing-fast and sustained upstream and downstream speeds even during peak usage periods.”

Because of the timing of the study, it doesn’t reflect Verizon’s recent introduction of FiOS Quantum speed tiers of up to 300 Mbps. “We expect excellent results when these groundbreaking, industry-leading speed offerings are included, as do our FiOS customers,” said Ritter. (Did I mention he’s a marketing guy?)

Meanwhile, other cable operators also fared well on the latest FCC test, especially when compared with the phone companies’ DSL offerings.

Comcast’s Cathy Avgiris, executive VP and general manager of data and communications services, commented: “This survey shows the Xfinity network consistently delivers a superior broadband Internet service to our customers. As the largest ISP, we are proud to deliver more speed, more consistently to more homes than any other provider. We are proud of our performance and look forward to continuing to work with the FCC on this study.”

The FCC’s full “Measuring Broadband America — July 2012″ report is available here.

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New Date: TV’s Cloud Power, exploring how operators and media companies are tapping into cloud-based technologies, has been rescheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13, at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel. Check back at multichannel.com/cloud for an updated list of speakers and participants.

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