A trusted source at Comcast informs Broadband Reports that before the end of the year, you'll begin hearing rumblings of a 250 Mbps service. While it seems unlikely that we'll be seeing any market launches at that speed this year, it highlights what Comcast's in a position to do as they work toward completing DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades by the end of this year. Comcast has already pushed DOCSIS 3.0 past 90% of their footprint, delivering 50 Mbps speeds in the process. While the company only offers 100 Mbps service in one market, a source tells us Comcast will be pushing faster 100 Mbps service to around 20% of their market by year end.
250 Mbps will take longer, but not much longer. "We'll get there, but for many practical reasons the early DOCSIS 3.0 systems are designed for 160 meg shared down, 100 meg shared up, using four channels in each direction," industry analyst Dave Burstein tells Broadband Reports.
Until around 2007, cable modems shared a single downstream "channel" of six megahertz carrying roughly thirty-six megabits of data. "Newer chips are supporting eight channels (320 megabits) down, so that will provide spare capacity and occasional speeds of 250 megabits with essentially the same gear."
With Cablevision at 100% upgraded, Comcast approaching 100% upgraded, and Cox aiming for 65-70% upgraded by year end 2010, it's expected that about 60% of the country will be covered with faster speeds by the end of 2010.