Gigabit trend puts pressure on cable operators says Heavy Reading

Following the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC's) call for a Gigabit City in each state by 2015, the cable industry is coming under increasing pressure to offer higher Internet speeds, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, a subscription research service from Heavy Reading.

Oct 14th, 2013

Following the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC's) call for a Gigabit City in each state by 2015, the cable industry is coming under increasing pressure to offer higher Internet speeds, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, a subscription research service from Heavy Reading.

The report, titled “Fast & Furious: Cable Counters Google Gigabit Salvo,” explores the gigabit Internet trend and its implications for cable operators and suppliers. It includes profiles of seven suppliers that support advances in cable's high-speed Internet residential infrastructure.

"The cable industry is caught in the crosshairs of allegations that it is not keeping pace with the latest Internet speeds, while a debate rages over whether gigabit Internet is even needed at this time," said Craig Leddy, research analyst with Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider and author of the report. "The challenge for cable is to promote its own escalating speed and fiber capabilities and to increase its Internet capabilities in a logical, cost-effective manner."

Cable providers have been driving toward faster and faster Internet speeds, but the competitive pressure means they cannot take their foot off of the gas, Leddy says. "While MSOs do not have to engage in costly rebuilds of HFC [hybrid fiber/coax] architecture, they will need to steadily invest in broadband technology," he said. "The drive toward gigabit Internet will keep cable on a direct path to increased deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 and development of DOCSIS 3.1, which promises gigabit services."

Cable MSOs already provide dedicated-fiber, multiple-gigabit connections for businesses, schools, and enterprises that are better suited for such speeds than residences are. Nevertheless, the expectations around gigabit Internet will be a catalyst for higher-speed deployments.

MSOs are raising access speeds primarily with DOCSIS 3.0 while preparing DOCSIS 3.1, which enables 1-Gbps speeds. Technology experts believe HFC plant and DOCSIS will remain vibrant and will maintain cable's high-speed growth for years to come.

For more information on cable broadband equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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