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Comcast Speeds Up Its Superfast Broadband Deployment

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comcastComcast (s cmsca) will deploy superfast broadband in 80 percent of its footprint by the end of this year, CEO Brian Roberts said during the cable company’s second-quarter earnings call today, up from the 65-percent figure the company had committed to last year. The quicker rollout may be because it’s relatively cheap to deploy faster broadband through DOCSIS 3.0, or perhaps because the number of Comcast’s new broadband subscribers plummeted in the most recent 3-month period.

The cable company added just 65,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in the second quarter, compared with its addition of 278,000 in the same period last year. However, its penetration — the percentage of homes that have access to Comcast broadband and that subscribe to it — stayed fairly flat, at 30.3 percent. It also saw its video penetration continue to fall, to 46.9 percent, a sign that Verizon’s (s vz) telco TV service may be putting pressure on the cable company’s video business. Comcast competes with Verizon in 12 percent of its footprint.

Despite the grim news on broadband adds (or perhaps because of it), Roberts committed to more D3 and speeds of up to 50 Mbps down. “We have already installed wideband in nearly 50 percent of our footprint and we hope to reach close to 80 percent by year-end,” he said on the call. For a look at how quickly the cable companies are deploying superfast broadband, check out the chart we created back in April. Comcast and Cablevision (s cvc) are the leaders, while Time Warner Cable (s twc), RCN (s rcni) and Insight Communications will still see the percentage of their markets covered by D3 stuck in the teens at the end of this year.

15 Responses to “Comcast Speeds Up Its Superfast Broadband Deployment”

    • You darn right about that. They are just reeling the carrot to have as many subscribers bit, then these cable cos point the fine prints of why they charging such and such.

    • Absolutely, all the extra bandwidth does is get you to exceed your cap sooner so they can disconnect you. Not very logical but that will likely be the effect

  1. What do you guys feel will be the future of managed services or value added services, where the provider mainly charges for maintaining the bandwidth necessary for such services. Even if these high speed networks degrade at sometime, they will still be able to carry over the services efficiently.

      • Unfortunately, upstream is a choke point in CATV networks. They have a lot of work to do, and money to spend, to increase this portion of their plant.

      • Jesse Kopelman

        @ Tom R

        I don’t think that’s really true. Channel bonding is the answer to increase upstream capacity and it’s not particularly expensive to implement. To free up channels, Cable Cos just need to be aggressive in shifting the customers to Digital. This is something Comcast has been at the forefront of.

      • Jesse,

        Yes, channel bonding will help. However, the upstream is currently imited to the 5-42 MHz band (<6 usable 6MHz channels), with some of this used for other network requirements (VoIP, set-top return channels, etc). The return is also noisy, which further limits its capabilities.

      • Jesse Kopelman

        @ Tom R

        I come from the wireless world, were uplink is a lot harder to deal with and 40MHz is an unheard of luxury. Comcast should have no problem providing 100Mbps uplink. Given the low expectations that have been set by years of artificially capping users at <<1Mbps upstream, getting a shot at 100Mbps, even shared over 30 homes is going to be damn sweet! Yes, FiOS could counter by giving even their lowest tier 10Mbps of higher uplink, but FiOS is not in every market.