WOW! spools up the DOCSIS 3.1 drive

March 13, 2018
WOW! (NYSE:WOW) 1 Gbps Internet service is now available to 95% of the company's customers. The most recent markets to be added are Huntsville and Montgomery, AL, and Columbus, GA. The company had ...

WOW! (NYSE:WOW) 1 Gbps Internet service is now available to 95% of the company's customers. The most recent markets to be added are Huntsville and Montgomery, AL, and Columbus, GA. The company had already announced the completion of rollout in nine additional areas, including Cleveland, OH; Charleston, SC; Pinellas, FL; and Chicago and Naperville, IL.

The fiber-to-the-neighborhood service offers data-cap-free gigabit speeds, which would allow a user to download a full-length HD movie in 36 seconds or 25 songs in 1 second. Though some WOW! systems use fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), most of its gigabit deployments are based on DOCSIS 3.1.

"Wow! continues to make strategic investments in pushing fiber deeper into our network. However, for this launch, WOW! made the determination that delivering 1 Gig via DOCSIS 3.1 meets the vast majority of our customers' needs and was the most capital efficient solution for the company," said Brian Hoekelman, VP of product at WOW!.

The challenges and heavy lifting fell to the field engineering team, which had to go node-by-node, assessing current equipment and network capacity before implementing any necessary upgrades to prepare the network for a 1 Gig launch, Hoekelman said. The upgrade plan was announced last November.

The upgrades will require a new modem for customers. They can use approved retail customer premises equipment (CPE) or lease equipment from WOW!. While the company does not comment on customer adoption to the product level, Hoekelman said that in general customers are excited that WOW! is making an investment in the network in order to provide "faster, more reliable Internet service."

"There is, of course, also a subset of our base that are enthusiastic users of the Internet that are especially thrilled to see WOW! bring 1 Gig service to their homes and neighborhoods," Hoekelman said.

The gigabit service costs $79.99 per month with a two-year contract, compared to a 500 Mpbs service for $59.99, 100 Mbps for $39.99 and 10 Mbps for $29.99 per month.

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BTR Staff

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STEPHEN HARDY
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