back to article Comcast 'rolls out' 'world's first' DOCSIS 3.1 modem, pumping 1Gbps over existing cable

Everyone's favorite ISP Comcast says it has switched on its first live gigabit internet service without having to lay a single inch of new cable. The lovable American giant has installed what it says is the world's first DOCSIS 3.1 modem in a home in Philadelphia, offering download speeds of 1Gbps without having to install new …

  1. frank ly Silver badge

    What would happen if ....

    .... everybody in the neighbourhood signed up for this and expected 1Gb/s at peak times?

    1. BlackKnight(markb)

      Re: What would happen if ....

      They would have to share nicely, obviously.

      Noting this is running on HFC and not twisted pair copper. not seeing a lot of potential in this for Australia given our rather limited HFC roll out.

      1. Griffo

        Re: What would happen if ....

        Might want to check your understanding of the NBN. Approx 3million homes are to be connected via upgraded HFC networks - which is what, nearly 40% of the 8million they plan to connect.

        It's kind of relevant.

        1. BlackKnight(markb)

          Re: What would happen if ....

          ah right after they reinvest 1billion dollars in remediation and expansion of the existing HFC they will get to 40%,

  2. Efros

    With their caps...

    means you'll be hitting that 300GB monthly cap all the quicker.

    1. eswan

      Re: With their caps...

      In approximately (300GB/s x 8b/B / 60s) 40 minutes....

      1. joed

        Re: With their caps...

        life in the fast lane

        win, win - especially for Comcast as I bet it cost fortune even before you blow past the cap.

  3. PJF

    Dig what up?

    Just string fiber along with their other RG-59 cables they have strung from unbelievable straight, branch-less tree to the next.

    Most utilities (except gas, water & sewer) in a (sub)urban and remote areas in the US are on (telephone/graph) poles - no need to dig anything. A couple a bucket trucks/cherry pickers, and butt-load of p-ties/zip-ties and your done...

    I'm (all)mostly joking. . .

    1. Efros

      Re: Dig what up?

      Nothing apart from water and sewer lines is buried round here (maybe the occasional missing person but no knowledge of that honest officer), due largely to the long periods of sub zero weather followed by frost heaves during the thaw. Road surfaces can develop foot high hills almost overnight, would cause havoc with cables unless they are buried down with the sewer and water lines.

      1. PNGuinn

        Re: Dig what up?

        Now, if they only had had the foresight to run the sewer lines overhead as well they could have run the fibres through the sewers .............

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Dig what up?

      If its over existing cabling then even putting in fibre involves no digging - just pull it through tied on to the end of the bit its replacing.

      I've been here less than 10 years and the engineers are round regularly and frequently digging up the road to lay some more cable to replace the soaked cable - rainfall has trebled since I moved in. Now ISTR 10km of fibre would cost less than a tenner when they used to pull it a Martlesham Heath Robinson (ca1990) and would be impervious to water ingress for a long long time.

  4. Adam 1 Silver badge

    So is this home on an abandoned block a few hundred metres from the exchange or does it represent real world possibility?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      If Cox Gigablast is any indication, then this trial will be set in one of two types of locales:

      1. New developments, where the ground is torn up anyway so it's cheap to lay new fiber networks.

      2. Affluent neighborhoods where the people can afford to plunk down.

  5. Six_Degrees

    Sadly, it sounds as though Comcast will have the market for Docsis 3.1 modems to itself for the foreseeable future. You won't be able to stop at Best Buy and pick one up for yourself, and just connect it to the incoming line, as you can with 3.0.

    Which means we'll have to buy/rent Comcast modems, at some exorbitant cost, and be subjected to their ever-expanding "dual" modem plan that plants a WiFi hotspot in every customer's home, while the customer picks up the tab for the split bandwidth it demands.

    I'm looking at you askance, Comcast.

    1. NotBob

      Not to worry, I'm sure Circuit City will have them...

      Oh yeah, they aren't around anymore. I bet Radio Shack will, though, they always had stuff...

      Of course, they aren't around anymore either...

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Best Buy is still around. And there's h. h. Gregg, too.

        Anyway, DOCSIS cable modems are now at commodity level. You can buy them at Walmart.

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    I'm betting that there will be one or more "catches" once this service is rolled out...

    A) "You want DOCSIS 3.1 service? Sure, and while we're setting that up, let me tell you about the premium cable TV plan you buy with that."

    B) "No, we can't unbundle the premium cable package that comes with the DOCSIS internet service, but the good news is that as part of the bundle you also get home phone service. And we have this home security package too!"

    C) "There might be some data caps and congestion charges too, but I'm sure they are minimal."

    D) "How minimal? That's not my department--let me transfer you to billing!" /begin hold music

    E) /continue hold music

    F) /interrupt hold music with "Welcome to Comcast! We appreciate your business. Do you know that you can access your services using our website? Please press "1" if you want take a brief customer survey after your call is complete"

    G) /more hold music

    H) "Hello, you have reached the Comcast billing department. You have called outside our normal office hours and we are closed. Please call us back between 8 AM and 5 PM, Eastern standard time. Goodbye!"

    1. earl grey Silver badge

      Re: I'm betting that there will be one or more "catches" once this service is rolled out...

      you forgot "I"

      I) Bend over; and no, you don't get lube.

  7. Quando

    So guesses for when Virgin Media start offering this? 202X?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Really, in the real world who cares? What are you going to do with 1Gbps that you can't already do with 100Mbps - bearing in mind that you're sharing the same fibre and backhaul as before with all their other users?

      1. Graham Jordan

        @ Credas

        I think you underestimate how many separate windows I can have open at any one given time. That's a whole lot of streaming porno right there.

      2. Dave Hilling

        Considering I know tons of people that would just be happy to get 100Mb I am wondering why they are pushing 1Gb so hard.... work on getting all your networks up to at least a minimum speed of say 50Mb before shooting for the sky. I am not sure how far comcast is in that goal since I was a TW customer by force but considering the amount of time I couldnt hit 10Mb while paying for 30, I wouldn't imagine the Comcast is much better.

    2. Toltec

      "So guesses for when Virgin Media start offering this? 202X?"

      No idea, but the latest Hub 3.0 is DOCSIS 3.1 capable and they are being installed now.

  8. channel extended


    I think I'll wait for DOCSIS 4.0 before I call Comcast.


    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: 4.0

      You're in for a wait, then. DOCSIS 3.1 is only two years old and still has plenty of legroom. It's theoretical max is 10Gbps down/1Gbps up. If there is continuing progress, it will probably be at the expense of channels as physical limitations kick in. Besides, most major cablecos are at least partially fiber now and will probably be making their next major infrastructural investments in moving the last mile to fiber so as to keep up with firms like Verizon already at the FTTH stage (I have access to both Cox and Verizon FiOS; I stick with Cox right now to avoid extra box rentals).

  9. Coypu76


    Now you can hit your data cap in just minutes!

  10. Charles 9 Silver badge

    World's first? Then what's the difference between this and Cox's GIgablast?

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