Cable Operators

Suddenlink Debuts 107-Meg Broadband In Texas

3/30/2010 11:58 AM Eastern

Suddenlink Communications is rolling out a Texas-sized broadband service in the Austin suburbs -- and claiming the Internet speed record in the U.S., at least for now.

The St. Louis-based cable operator announced that it has started offering residential customers in three Texas communities -- Georgetown, Pflugerville and Leander -- its new High Speed Internet MAX 107.0 service, with a top download speed of 107 Megabits per second and an upload speed up to 5 Mbps.

"Based on our research, we believe this residential download speed to be the fastest available in the U.S. today," Suddenlink CEO Jerry Kent said in announcing MAX 107.0. "We are pleased to bring cutting-edge technologies to our communities and we will continue our efforts to expand the availability of this and other advanced services."

The 107-Mbps tier is $107 per month when bundled with phone or TV service and $120 per month when ordered as standalone service. The cable operator passes between 50,000 and 60,000 homes in the three suburban-Austin communities where MAX 107.0 is initially available.

The MSO is using Cisco Systems' modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS) and Arris DOCSIS 3.0 modems to deliver the MAX 107.0 service.

Suddenlink said it is preparing to launch either MAX 107.0 or MAX 50.0 -- with up to 50 Mbps -- in a number of other communities this year, with details to be announced later.

As part of its ongoing DOCSIS 3.0 expansion, the cable operator boosted its maximum Internet download speed to up to 36 Mbps in Lubbock and Midland, Texas, last month.

Other North American cable operators have cracked the 100-Meg barrier, including Cablevision Systems, which offers 101-Mbps to residential customers; Mediacom Communications, which rolled out a 105-Mbps service; and Canada's Shaw Communications. Comcast, meanwhile, expects to begin offering 100-Mbps to residential customers this year.

Suddenlink's MAX 107.0 is part of "Project Imagine" that encompasses $350 million of capital investments through 2012 beyond the company's traditional capital-spending levels. The company's goals with the initiative are to expand video-on-demand service, add the capacity for up to 200 HD channels and deploy DOCSIS 3.0 technology to "substantially all" of its service areas.

Suddenlink has about 1.24 million residential customers in midsized markets in about eight states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.


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