TWC's Marcus: DOCSIS 3.0 still has a lot of juice in it

While his MSO plans to conduct field tests of DOCSIS 3.1 in 2016, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus isn't ready just yet to give up on DOCSIS 3.0.

"As we roll out our TWC Maxx product, which offers [download] speeds of 300 Mbps, that's based on DOCSIS 3.0. We still think there's juice left in 3.0," he said, speaking at the UBS Global Media and Technology Conference.

TWC may consider in the near term abandoning DOCSIS 3.0 modems in favor of DOCSIS 3.1 CPE, which is backward compatible. The MSO is also in the process of conducting cable modem termination system upgrades to accommodate the new standard.

But Marcus told investors to expect a "gradual upgrade" to 3.1. "We think we have a pretty good product in our 300 Mbps product," he said. "We're having the best video subscribers year we've had probably in a decade."

Marcus also took the opportunity to once again tout his visions for the BYOD (bring your own device) world, attempting to hammer home the notion that TWC's New York streaming video trials "are not OTT."

"We have no interest in delivering someone else's product over someone else's infrastructure," he said. TWC's vision is to deliver its video service over its own network, but to IP devices like Roku set-tops customers purchase themselves. 

"I think that's where video is going," Marcus said. "It's going to be delivered over IP." He added that TWC can grow its "universe of customers" by removing truck roll appointments and the need for leased equipment. 

He also told investors that he expects TWC's capital intensity to decline from a current level of around 19 percent to the "mid-teens," with less reliance on leased CPE driving down the number. 

"Longer term, we do think there are some dynamics in play that could drive down capital intensity," he said.

Asked about the regulatory prospects for TWC's acquisition by Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR), Marcus refused to guess on a timeline for closure of the deal. He did say that TWC was working with California regulators to accelerate a review process that's currently slated to go into June. 

For more:
- visit this TWC investor relations page

Related articles:
TWC exec: We're migrating to a bring-your-own-device world for CPE
TWC's Marcus: Streaming strategy is about getting rid of set-tops, not skinny bundles
TWC's Cottrell: Primary goal of new streaming service 'is to allow customers to watch video without a set-top box'