Comcast To Roll Out Gigabit Cable Service to 5 U.S. Cities in 2016

Installing new gigabit fiber isn't the only way to provide higher-speed Internet service to customers. DOCSIS (for "data over cable service interface specification") offers a means of delivering faster network connections over existing cable, and Comcast plans to take that approach to bring gigabit Internet to five cities across the U.S. this year.

Following successful tests of new-generation DOCSIS 3.1 modems in Philadelphia and Atlanta last month, Comcast announced yesterday that it plans to roll out DOCSIS 3.1-enabled high-speed Internet service to Atlanta and Nashville early this year. Deployments in Chicago, Detroit and Miami are scheduled for the second half of the year.

The service coming to Philadelphia and Atlanta will be a world first for DOCSIS 3.1, according to Comcast. While the deployment does not require the company to lay new cable or install fiber insfrastructure, it will require customers to obtain new modems.

Up to 10 Gbps Downstream

"DOCSIS 3.1 represents a tremendous step forward in our commitment to keeping customers at the technology forefront," said Bill Connors, Comcast central division president, in a statement. "Combined with all the upgrades we have already put into our advanced fiber optic-coax network, this technology will not only provide more gigabit speed choices for customers, it will also eventually make these ultra-fast speeds available to the most homes in our service areas."

A specification developed by the Colorado-based CableLabs consortium, DOCSIS was first released in 1997. The latest version, 3.1, came out in late 2013 and has been updated several times since then.

"There is a lot of excitement around DOCSIS 3.1 technology, and the new capabilities it brings to cable networks for both cable operators and their customers," CableLabs said in a statement on its Web site. "DOCSIS 3.1 specifications support up to 10 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream of network...

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