Charter Communications has finally announced its first residential DOCSIS 3.1-based 1-gig deployment, doing it 3,000 miles off the U.S. mainland in Oahu, Hawaii.
Customers will pay $104.99 a month for the 1 Gbps service, which doesn’t entail contracts or data caps. The minimum speed in the region, meanwhile, will double to 200 Mbps.
Charter has been busy the last 18 months with its integration of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks cable systems. Its deployment of the next-generation DOCSIS 3.1 cable network standard has thus lagged behind other large U.S. cable companies, including Comcast and Mediacom.
“Charter’s state-of-the-art, fiber-rich network is superior in its ability to deliver fast and reliable internet to millions of consumers across the country,” said Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO of Charter, in a statement. “As technology continues to evolve, the products and services of tomorrow will increasingly rely on faster broadband connections.”
For its part, Charter doesn’t seemed to have missed any boats by holding back in the DOCSIS 3.1-based 1-gig arms race. Speaking at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in October, Mediacom CTO JR Walden conceded that while consumer interest in 1-gig services has been greater than expected, it hasn’t yet exactly moved the needle on the cable company’s bottom line.
Mediacom, which is largely finished with its DOCSIS 3.1 deployment, struggled early to find enough certified network and CPE equipment, he added—a problem that will no longer exist in the marketplace for Charter.
Rutledge outlined Charter’s early DOCSIS 3.1 deployment strategy on Oct. 26, speaking during the No. 2 U.S. cable company’s third-quarter earnings call. “We'll continue to increase our minimum speeds in 2018,” he said. “In a couple of months, we'll also launch gigabit speeds offerings in several key markets using DOCSIS 3.1, with more launches planned through 2018. We expect DOCSIS 3.1 modems to be priced similarly to DOCSIS 3.0 modems when purchased at scale, and we'll begin to buy exclusively DOCSIS 3.1 modems and drive higher entry-level speeds.”