ONO Preps 500-Meg Broadband: Report

Spain’s Largest Cable Operator To Hit the Gas Next Month

ONO, the largest cable operator in Spain, is preparing to launch a 500 Mbps broadband service sometime next month, company CEO Rosalia Portela revealed at the CTAM Europe Summit in Barcelona, according to DigitalTV Europe.

Portela didn’t reveal pricing on the tier, but the operator will look for it to keep ahead of Telefonica and other competitors, while also expanding on its current, fastest service, which delivers downstream bursts up to 100 Mbps.

The coming launch is another indicator that cable operators view 500 Mbps as the next highest advertised speed tier for their DOCSIS 3.0 platforms.

Last month, Com Hem, Sweden’s largest MSO, introduced a D3 service that pairs a 500 Mbps downstream with a 50 Mbps upstream for SEK 899 (US$138.03) per month. The operator confirmed that it is delivering the new tier via a D3 gateway that can bond 16 downstream channels.

Com Hem’s new tier and the one on the way from ONO fits with the European Commission's "Digital Agenda," which calls on the region's ISPs to offer download broadband speeds of at least 30 Mbps to all citizens by 2020, with at least 50% of European households subscribing to Internet tiers providing speeds of at least 100 Mbps by that time.

No North American cable operator has launched a 500-Meg residential tier that uses DOCSIS 3.0.

Following a recent speed upgrade, Comcast is delivering a 505 Mbps residential service in the Northeast U.S. that rides on an all-fiber platform it’s using primarily to serve business customers.

Rogers Communications has begun to deploy a D3 gateway from Hitron Technologies that can bond 28 downstream channels and get within shouting distance of 1 Gbps. For now, Rogers’ top-end residential tier, “Ultimate,” offers up to 150 Mbps downstream.