Comcast says gigabit downloads and uploads are actually doable over cable

Illustration of Internet cables filled with ones and zeroes.

Comcast’s cable Web nonetheless has a heavy emphasis on obtain speeds, as even its gigabit-download service solely comes with 35Mbps uploads. However that will not be the case perpetually, as today Comcast announced a “technical milestone” that may ship gigabit-plus obtain and add speeds over present cable wires.

Particularly, Comcast stated it performed “a trial delivering 1.25Gbps add and obtain speeds over a reside manufacturing community utilizing Community Operate Virtualization (NFV) mixed with the most recent DOCSIS Expertise.” Comcast put in the service at a house in Jacksonville, Florida, the place “the expertise workforce persistently measured speeds of 1.25 Gbps add and 1.25Gbps obtain over the connection.”

The speeds have been delivered over a hybrid fiber-cable community, with the coaxial cable offering the ultimate connection into the house. That is nothing new—Comcast has been utilizing each fiber and cable for years, however Comcast stated the trial benefitted from the corporate’s “ongoing effort to increase fiber additional into neighborhoods.” Usually, symmetrical gigabit speeds require a fiber-to-the-home connection. However many extra houses have cable than fiber, so a symmetrical gigabit expertise could possibly be deployed sooner if it does not require bringing fiber all the way in which to every constructing.

Comcast, the nation’s largest broadband supplier, didn’t say when (or whether or not) a symmetrical 1.25Gbps service will go on sale. For now, extra testing is required. “Within the coming weeks, Comcast will increase the trial to extra houses as we proceed to check the efficiency of the service below a number of completely different house and community environments,” the corporate stated.

Count on a protracted transition

Symmetrical add and obtain speeds on cable networks are doable due to updates to DOCSIS (Duplex Knowledge Over Cable Service Interface Specification), the cable-industry customary. These sorts of upgrades take years to succeed in clients, although. A “full duplex” model of DOCSIS that helps obtain and add speeds of 10Gbps was finalized in October 2017, and a version supporting 10Gbps downloads and 1Gbps uploads was launched in 2013.

Comcast stated its symmetrical 1.25Gbps trial required an “superior structure” that features “software-powered networking applied sciences, together with digital fiber optics, ‘Distant PHY’ digital nodes, and a cloud-based, virtualized cable modem termination system platform (vCMTS).”

Comcast does already present multi-gigabit downloads and uploads via its fiber-to-the-home service, however the all-fiber community doesn’t prolong throughout the corporate’s total cable service space. Comcast introduced a symmetrical 2Gbps all-fiber service in 2015 for $300 a month and as much as $1,000 in startup charges.

Comcast in 2018 said its 2Gbps service was obtainable to 18 million houses, however we could not discover any provides for the 2Gbps service on Comcast’s web site right now. Comcast’s gigabit webpage says you need to name the corporate to ask about getting multi-gigabit speeds.

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