Comcast rolls out DOCSIS 3.1-powered advanced trials in Atlanta

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) said that it has begun "advanced consumer trials" of DOCSIS 3.1-powered Internet services for select early adopters in Atlanta, kicking off its plan to bring the 1-gig product to five cities this year. 

New and existing Comcast customers in Atlanta can visit to get information and put their hat in the ring for joining the trial. Selected users will have a promotional contract price of $70 per month for 36 months. The cost is $140 a month if customers choose not to sign a contract. Comcast said it will announce additional price points for other markets.

"Our Atlanta customers will be among the first in the world to enjoy this new Gigabit technology, and we're looking forward to learning more from these early adopters about how they take advantage of these ultra-fast speeds," said Comcast Central Division President Bill Connors. "The capabilities of DOCSIS 3.1 are incredibly exciting, and we are the first to market with a Gigabit offering that runs over our existing cable infrastructure."

Comcast is the first U.S. MSO to aggressively deploy DOCSIS 3.1 services, as it looks to head off 1-gig competition from companies including Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) and AT&T (NYSE: T).

In fact, Atlanta has emerged as a crucial early battle ground in the quest for 1-gig supremacy, with Comcast already waging an advertising war with Google Fiber.

Initially available in Atlanta and soon Nashville, Comcast will bring its gigabit service to Chicago, Detroit, and Miami in the second half of the year. The cable MSO plans to target residential and business customers with the service, which runs over its existing hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) plant.

Comcast's DOCSIS 3.1 deployment has been welcome news for vendors like Arris, which have seen declining CPE sales to operators of late. Arris, for example, has recently touted the fact that its E6000 converged edge router is part of Comcast's deployment. 

For more:
- read this Comcast press release

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Arris says its E6000 converged edge router is being used in Comcast DOCSIS 3.1 deployment