Comcast uses DOCSIS 3.1 for gigabit business services

Comcast Business has launched the delivery of gigabit and 500-Mbps business internet services via DOCSIS 3.1. The business services arm of cable MSO Comcast will offer "Business Internet 1 Gig" and "Business Internet 500" initially in its Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and Nashville service areas.

Comcast Business has launched the delivery of gigabit and 500-Mbps business internet services via DOCSIS 3.1. The business services arm of cable MSO Comcast will offer "Business Internet 1 Gig" and "Business Internet 500" initially in its Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and Nashville service areas.

DOCSIS 3.1, the latest version of the cable operators' preferred operating system for hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) infrastructure, is designed to support shared 10 Gbps downstream capacity and approximately 1 Gbps upstream (see "SCTE Special Working Group to tackle DOCSIS 3.1" and "CableLabs releases DOCSIS 3.1 chip specifications"). CableLabs, the cable industry's technology specification body, is working on Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1, which would support symmetrical 10-Gbps operation over hybrid fiber/coax.

Comcast originally rolled out DOCSIS 3.1 to support residential services (see, for example, "Comcast launches Chicago DOCSIS 3.1 trial"). It now has expanded the technology's scope to include businesses it serves via HFC. Existing business customers on HFC connections looking to move up to the new service tiers likely will need to swap out their cable modems.

The company also offers fiber-based gigabit and multi-gigabit business services.

"With more business operations moving to a cloud-based model, staying ahead of the bandwidth curve will be an important part of an organization's migration strategy," said Matt Davis, program director for market research firm IDC, via a Comcast press release. "DOCSIS 3.1-based internet will give small, medium, and even larger organizations the opportunity to quickly add more network capacity at their locations, supporting new technology applications on-site or in the cloud."

"High-capacity, high-performance internet can be a difference-maker for businesses that want to leverage software-as-a-service applications to improve their operations or enhance the customer experience by offering in-store Wi-Fi or a robust e-commerce site," added Kevin O'Toole, senior vice president of Product Management at Comcast Business. "DOCSIS 3.1 business internet service offers a new and easy plug-and-play option for accessing gigabit speeds in any business environment – whether that is a large distributed enterprise across a wide geographic area or a small business with one or a few locations."

Comcast Business plans to offer the two new DOCSIS 3.1 enabled services in the majority of its service areas throughout 2017 and into 2018. Service prices will vary based on a customer's location or number of locations to be served and the services to which the business currently subscribes.

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