Sunday, 14 August 2016 22:35

US cable operator Midco launching DOCSIS 3.1 in four cities by year’s end


As Australia’s long wait for DOCSIS 3.1 continues, a US cable operator will have four of its five largest cities launching DOCSIS 3.1 tech and speeds by the end of 2016.

Oh, woe betide Australia and its patience-pleading rollout of a faster broadband network, if only we had the ability to roll out DOCSIS 3.1 and FTTN so much faster.

Instead there’s years to wait for the vast majority of Australians, but our slow rollout isn’t slowing down the speed of faster technology deployment overseas.

In the US, a cable operator known as Midco was interviewed by Fierce Wireless and explained its plans, with Midco’s chief technology officer, Jon Pederson, saying his connection was working “really well” on his modern at home, and that he was “testing pretty high speeds”.

Astute observers will notice Midco's logo looks a bit similar to that of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (see the end of the article), although there's no connection. 

The company is already trialling its “Midco Gig Internet” service in Fargo, North Dakota, which, as Fierce Wireless states, has "committed to delivering DOCSIS 3.1-powered gigabit service to its entire service areas by the end of 2017".

Pederson told Fierce Wireless that “the biggest challenge we see is that it’s difficult to get modems. They’re a little behind in terms of availability [in comparison to the availability of equipment for the core CMTS network]. But we expect, in the next 30 to 60 days, to get shipments of those.”

Although Fierce Wireless says Pederson "declined to name the company’s DOCSIS 3.1 modem and gateway vendors", it only makes me wonder if it's an area that Australia’s telco equipment superstar NetComm Wireless could help with – see my recent article with a video interview featuring Netcomm Wireless chief techology officer Steve Collins, on the company's major US R&D expansion and US and global successes here for more information.  

In short, beta testing will be announced soon, and more cities could yet be added to the first end-of-2016 deadline.

Pederson added that the real world was a little different from the labs, but he was confident the technology would work, and work well, with tuning and adjustment where required.

More here. Although this news is US-related, let’s hope the long wait for DOCSIS 3.1 by millions of Australians ends sooner rather than later!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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