Customers in Chicago IL, Atlanta GA, Ft. Wayne IN. and Baltimore MD. are going to get a boost from a technology called “DOCSIS 3.0″as Comcast is rolling it out to those areas. It is part of a 10 city initiative which will also include the Twin Cities MN, Boston (Metro) MA, parts of southern NH, Philly (Metro) PA, NJ, Portland OR, Seattle, Spokane and Eugene WA.
DOCSIS stands for “Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification”. It was developed by CableLabs, and includes contributions from companies like ARRIS, BigBand Networks, Broadcom, Cisco, Conexant, Correlant, Harmonic, Intel, Motorola, Netgear, Terayon, and Texas Instruments. DOCSIS uses a Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial cable to push data through at 343 Mbit/s per 8 channels.
Their plans give users up to 50 MB download and 10 MB upload, so you should be able to get a lot done. Of course, you will have to pay upwards to $139.95 a month for that service and Residential users will have to purchase Cable service, which will add more $$ to your bill. Nonetheless, if you decide to take this offer, you’ll be able to download a 6 Gigabyte HD movie in 15-20 minutes – depending on where the source is. There are also smaller plans, like 22 MB Down, 5 MB up for $62.95.
Caps? Yes. If you are a residential user, you will still fall under the 250GB cap. Comcast says in its FAQ that most users will not reach that limit and if they do, they may be told to change up to the Commercial account or be “Suspended” for 6 months in the first offense. In inquiry of the prices for the Commercial services, I was not told a price, but was told the 22 MB and 50 MB services were not available for Commercial accounts just yet.
DOCSIS competition is Verizon FIOS, which right now is the better Value. If your area has FIOS, 50 MB Down / 10 MB Up will cost you $144.95 without home phone service. FIOS is also available in more cities than Comcast at this point. FIOS also does not have Bandwidth Caps at this present time.
Faster and better is where we are going. Not as much being able to download more content, but downloading content faster. Once again, I always say “The internet is as fast as it’s slowest connection”. If you are sending an email to your friend next door, that email may travel across the country before your neighbor recieves it. Still, if I can get a program downloaded or produce a video and upload it without lag from others in the house using the connection, this may be worth it.
*Update: After publishing this article, I got this information from Comcast PR Lynsey about prices for Business customers:
Existing business class customers also will receive complimentary speed increases—speeds on the Starter tier will be doubled to up to 12 Mbps / 2 Mbps and a new Premium Tier also will be introduced, offering speeds up to 22 Mbps / 5 Mbps for only $99.95/month