Midcontinent joins Comcast in deploying Cisco's cBR-8 CCAP platform, with eye on multi-gigabit speeds

Midcontinent Communications will deploy Cisco's cBR-8 converged cable access platform (CCAP) across its entire footprint, as the cable company looks to ramp up multi-gigabit Internet products built around DOCSIS 3.1.

CableLabs' DOCSIS 3.1 specification was created to support download speeds of up to 10 Mbps. Midcontinent has set a goal of making gigabit speed services available to approximately 600,000 homes and 55,000 business by 2017, built along a high-capacity fiber network that covers more than 8,100 miles.

Speed is a key element of Midcontinent's message to customers--the operator boasted that it was ranked the fastest ISP in the United States in 2014 by PCMag.com. More recently, Netflix's ISP rankings for June put Midcontinent in the No. 3 position in the United States, behind Google Fiber and Grande Communications, with an average speed of 3.65 Mbps.

Midcontinent currently has more than 300,000 subscribers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. 

Cisco introduced its cBR-8 platform at the INTX trade show in Chicago in early May; at the time, Comcast announced it would deploy Cisco's cBR-8. In Europe, Altice and Quickline have also pledged to deploy the offering. 

Cisco's cBR-8 represents the company's efforts to catch up in the cable market, where it has lost some share to rivals like Arris Group and Casa Systems. Citing data from IHS, the WSJ noted earlier this year that Cisco's share of the cable service provider market dropped from 52 percent in 2013 to just 29 percent in 2014--losing its leading position to Arris, which commanded 48 percent market share last year, IHS said.

​"Cisco's cBR-8 aligns with our strategy and vision to deliver Gigabit-speed Internet experiences that will change the quality of life and spur business innovation in the communities we serve," said Jon Pederson, VP of technology for Midcontinent Communications. "With our customers' bandwidth consumption doubling every 15 months, we need the right technology in place to support our network demands now and in the future. The unique DOCSIS and Remote PHY capabilities of the cBR-8 will help us meet our commitments for the Midcontinent Gigabit Initiative."

For more:
- see this Midcontinent release
- read this Cisco press release

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