Comcast Ups DOCSIS 3.0 Target To 40 Million Premises In 2009


Comcast has raised its DOCSIS 3.0 deployment target to nearly 80% of its national footprint before the end of this year, passing about 40 million homes and businesses with the next-generation cable-modem technology. 

"We have already installed wideband in nearly 50% of our footprint and we hope to reach close to 80% by year-end," Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said on the company's second-quarter earnings call. "As we deploy this wideband capability, we are doubling the speeds to our existing customers and introducing new higher-speed services in these markets."

Previously the operator said it expected DOCSIS 3.0 to pass 65% of homes in its service areas in 2009, representing around 32 million premises, with the technology fully deployed by the end of next year.

Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke, also on the call Thursday, said "part of raising the estimate is just [that] we are getting it implemented and we are a little further along the line and continue to be big believers in it. I think everybody in the industry eventually is going to put DOCSIS 3.0 pretty much everywhere and it is just a question of how fast you go."

Still, Comcast's broadband business showed signs of slowing down in the second quarter, as the MSO added only 65,000 high-speed Internet customers in the period. Comcast netted about 320,000 broadband subs in the first quarter of 2009.

In markets where it has gone live with DOCSIS 3.0, Comcast offers two new tiers -- Extreme 50, with up to 50 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream, and Ultra 22, at 22/5 -- and is doubling speeds for existing Premier customers from 6/1 to 12/2 and for existing Premier Plus customers from 8/2 to 16/2 for no additional cost.

Comcast has already announced DOCSIS 3.0 service deployments the following market areas: Minneapolis/St. Paul; the Boston metropolitan region and parts of southern New Hampshire; parts of Hartford, Conn.; the Philadelphia metro area; Harrisburg, Pa.; Pittsburgh' parts of New Jersey; Atlanta; Baltimore; Chicago; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Chattanooga, Tenn., Portland and Eugene, Ore.; Seattle; and Spokane.