Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wideband - It's Not Just Broadband Anymore

On April 3, Comcast launched its first Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) 3.0 service roll-out in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul (Twin Cities) region. The company is currently offering up to 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) downloads and 5 Mbps uploads for $149.95 per month to residents and businesses in the region. Here's a quote from a Comcast press release:

“This announcement marks the beginning of the evolution from broadband to wideband,” said Mitch Bowling, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Comcast High-Speed Internet, Comcast Cable. “Wideband is the future and it’s coming fast. We believe wideband will usher-in a new era of speed and Internet innovation for today’s digital consumers.”

The use of the term "wideband" is interesting here because (in the way it is being used by Comcast) it represents a combination of higher bandwidth along with the types of converged services higher bandwidths allow. As video, high-speed Internet and digital phone services converge we'll start to see services converge and cross devices - the same Comcast press release mentions future applications like Universal Caller ID to the TV and PC, viewable voice mail and the ability to program DVRs remotely.

These applications are just a hint of things to come as downstream and upstream bandwidths continue to rise, prices per Mbps drop and application developers take advantage. Perhaps wideband provides a better description of where we're going.


For more on DOCSIS 3.0:

Read Show Notes and listen to Mike Q and my 34 minute technical Podcast titled The Next Generation Cable Network: DOCSIS 3.0 linked here.
Listen directly in your web browser by clicking here.
Podcasts also free on iTunes.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

*Golf claps*

What good does it do to offer higher speeds, if the speeds are not realized?

I pay for 15Mbps service now and rarely get to 900Kbps. So why would anyone pay additional costs for a service that will not be realized. There could be a change, but with the history of ISPs and their advertisements, I must be cynical.

Gordon... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon... said...

Thanks for the comment - you may want to contact your ISP and have them test your connection.

For those wondering - according to Wikipedia - a "golf clap" is "a quiet form of clapping performed by lightly and rapidly clapping the fingers of one hand against the palm of the other. It is patterned after the sound of distant clapping heard during televised golf tournaments, and is sometimes used as a sarcastic form of applause, used to show indifference or disdain."