An inside look at the cable industry's race toward 1 Gbps Internet service

Mike Dano

The cable industry is rushing headlong into the 1 Gbps future. Starting early next year, cable operators including Comcast and others are expected to begin rolling out the new DOCSIS 3.1 standard for their HFC cable networks. The technology will allow cable operators to increase the Internet speeds they can provide to customers from around 300 Mbps today to 1 Gbps and higher.

And DOCSIS 3.1 can't come fast enough for the cable industry. U.S. cable operators collectively are losing hundreds of thousands of cable TV customers per quarter, and they are hoping to counter that lost revenue by getting new customers to sign up for HFC-based Internet services. But speed sells, and in order to answer the competitive threat from Google Fiber, AT&T, Verizon and other 1 Gbps fiber Internet suppliers, cable operators are keen to move to the faster speeds that DOCSIS 3.1 provides.

But when exactly will U.S. cable operators deploy DOCSIS 3.1? How will they do it? And which vendors stand to cash in on the U.S. cable industry's race toward 1 Gbps Internet services?

Those are the questions I aim to answer in my latest feature for FierceCable: From Comcast to Arris: Winners and losers in the cable industry's move to DOCSIS 3.1 and 1 Gbps speeds. I spoke with a range of operators, vendors and analysts to get an inside look at how the cable industry plans to enter the Giga-era.

Let me know what you think in the comments! --Mike | @mikeddano

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