Fiber to the Home? Maybe Never, Says Comcast's Werner


Los Angeles — The question of when — or whether — cable should take fiber to the home doesn’t keep Comcast CTO Tony Werner up at night.

“I don’t see it as a necessity, almost ever,” Werner told me when met here at the Cable Show, after I asked when Comcast might see the need to deploy FTTH.

Continued Werner, “Ever is a very long time. But I spend no time awake at night on this.”

Comcast has conducted tests in its labs with DOCSIS 3.0 equipment bonding 28 downstream channels together, to deliver a whopping 1 Gigabit per second. “Running that fiber the last 100 feet to the home costs a lot of money,” Werner said. “I think we have lots of gas left in DOCSIS.”

In addition, Comcast is exploring using the spectrum in the 1-2 GHz  range to tap into even more capacity. “That’s looking promising now,” Werner said.

Note, too, that CableLabs has initiated research into a new data-over-coax approach, which would do away with the 6-MHz channel divisions and use new MAC and PHY components to deliver ultra-high-speed data services even more efficiently (see CableLabs Next-Gen Broadband Project Envisions Multigigabit Speeds).