Comcast Targets Wideband For 30 Million Homes In 2009

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Comcast has set a goal of being able to offer "wideband" cable-modem services to more than 30 million homes and businesses -- 65% of its nationwide footprint -- in 2009.

To date, Comcast has introduced faster Internet services with up to 50-Mbps download speeds across 30% of its footprint, or more than 15 million customer premises.

Comcast executives outlined the 65% target for deploying DOCSIS 3.0 on its fourth-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

The upgrades also will allow the MSO to boost its Performance tier customers from 6- to 12-Mbps downloads, in addition to offering the Extreme 50 (50 down/10 up) and Ultra (22/5) tiers.

Comcast offers wideband service in 10 markets: Minneapolis/St. Paul, the Boston metropolitan region and parts of Southern New Hampshire, Philadelphia, parts of New Jersey, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Ft. Wayne, Ind., Portland, Ore., and Seattle.

Multichannel News, in independent interviews with a dozen of the MSO's first wideband customers, found that most were pleased with the services despite a few initial glitches.

"Speed really matters in this business, particularly when you see more video on the Internet, YouTube and other applications that get better with more speed," Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke said on the earnings call Wednesday. He added that the MSO is looking to offer "50 to 100 Meg in as many places as possible."