Insight Promises 30-Mbps Broadband By Year-End

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Insight Communications is gearing up to launch a 30-Mbps downstream Internet service by the end of 2009 -- but won't be moving to DOCSIS 3.0 in the near term.

The "Broadband 30.0" service, which will provide 30 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up, will mark the last speed upgrade prior to the operator's launch of DOCSIS 3.0 next-generation, according to Insight CEO Michael Willner, who announced the service in a blog post Tuesday.

Insight is not disclosing where the 30/3 service will be available first or what the pricing will be, nor when DOCSIS 3.0-based services will be deployed.

"We have a real appreciation about how important DOCSIS 3.0 is for future broadband services as new high-bandwidth applications are developed and we always want to be the leaders in speed, reliability, and affordability for years to come," Willner wrote. "For today's needs, Broadband 30.0 will bridge us very effectively to the time we launch DOCSIS 3.0."

Willner's preview of Broadband 30.0 comes a day after he announced that the operator has completed its digital simulcast upgrade, along with adding a "handful" of HD channels and also introducing enhancements to DVR and video-on-demand offerings.

According to Willner, the 30/3 tier will be "faster than any other service provider in our area." The MSO is currently the ninth-largest U.S. cable operator with about 722,000 customers in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.

Willner noted that Insight is "still tweaking and testing some of the details" of the Broadband 30.0 service. For instance, he said, the operator anticipates that Broadband 30.0 customers will need 802.11n wireless routers to take advantage of speeds as Insight's testing has shown that 802.11g routers aren't achieving over 30 Mbps in practice.

Currently, Insight's fastest Internet service available is 20 Mbps, which it started marketing in February 2008.

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