Comcast Nears 'Wideband' Halfway Mark

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Comcast claimed it has deployed DOCSIS 3.0-based services to nearly 50% of the homes and business in its footprint -- almost 25 million premises -- as it has completed the upgrade to the next-generation cable modem technology in the greater Philadelphia region.

The operator is targeting 100% rollout of "wideband" services, covering 50 million U.S. homes, by the end of 2010.

Overall, the U.S. cable industry is expected to have deployed DOCSIS 3.0 to 99% of homes passed by 2013, according to a recent analysis by research firm Pike & Fischer.

In the Philadelphia market, Comcast began offering the higher-speed services with up to 50 Mbps downstream in December 2008. The latest rollout covers all areas in the MSO's "Freedom" region including the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement, "I applaud Comcast and their efforts to be the first to bring the benefits of advanced wideband Internet to all areas of our city. We are proud of hometown companies like Comcast that enrich our lives through their innovation and investment."

The city of Philadelphia earlier this year granted a cable TV franchise to Verizon Communications, which plans to offer service to 660,000 city residents when the network construction is completed in 2016.