Competitive cable provider WideOpenWest (WOW) has pushed ahead with the launch of 1 Gbps (downstream) broadband in its first four markets – Auburn and Huntsville, Ala., and Evansville, Ind.; and Knoxville, Tenn.
Using the "Gigtopia" brand, WOW is selling 1-Gig as a standalone (and uncapped) residential service for $70 per month, so long as customers agree to a two-year contract. That pricing reflects what Google Fiber sells its standalone 1-Gig service in markets such as Kansas City; Austin, Texas; Nashville; Atlanta; Charlotte; and Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah.
WOW noted that it’s also offering bundled pricing to customers who take 1-Gig with phone and/or video service. WOW has been asked for more detail about how that option will be priced, and if it is offering 1-Gig as a standalone to customers who do not want a long-term contract.
UPDATE: WOW said it does offer 1-gig as a standalone without the need for a contract and in some of its bundles. It has yet to release pricing on those, but did note that the best offers fall under its contract options.
WOW announced in August that it would launch 1-Gig in five markets by the end of 2016. In addition to the aforementioned group of four, it also has plans to launch the speedy offering in Grosse Point Shores, Mich., where WOW is also expanding its footprint using GPON-based fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technology.
WOW CEO Steven Cochran noted at the time that the initial slate of 1-Gig deployments represent about 10% of WOW’s footprint.
In areas where WOW is delivering a 1-Gig downstream (alongside an upstream that maxes out at 50 Mbps) on its HFC network, the operator is leaning on DOCSIS 3.1 technology. The operator’s primary network platform for D3.1 will be the Arris E6000 Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), and has not yet announced which modem vendors will be part of the initial deployment. Six modem vendors have achieved DOCSIS 3.1 certification – Arris (for a retail model), Askey, CastleNet, Netgear, Sagemcom, Technicolor and Ubee Interactive.
WOW joins a growing mix of MSOs that are testing or deploying D3.1-powered broadband service.
For example, RCN, another cable overbuilder, recently announced that it will soon launch a 1-Gig service using DOCSIS 3.1 in parts of Chicago for $69.99 per month for 12 months. Comcast has advanced market trials of D3.1 underway in Nashville, Chicago and Atlanta, with Miami and Detroit on deck.
WOW has also introduced a DOCSIS 3.0-based 600 Mbps (downstream) broadband service that is available across about 90% of its footprint.