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Bright House Homes In On Home Networking

Bright House Networks is the latest MSO to get aggressive on the home networking front with the launch of a home networking initiative that centers on WiFi-fueled DOCSIS gateways.

The MSO’s new “Echo” service, initially offered in its Tampa and Central Florida systems, features two Arris-made DOCSIS 3.0 models – the DG1670, a data gateway, and the TG16782, a gateway that also supports IP voice services. Among them, DG1670 supports 16x4 D3 channel bonding (16 downstream and 4 upstream channels) and 802.11n MiMo WiFi with dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios and “beamforming” capabilities. The Arris product specs note that the DG1670 also supports an option for MoCA 1.1 for high-speed networking over a home’s coax-based network.

Bright House said the devices powering the Echo offering expand home networking coverage and eliminate so-called “WiFi dead zones.” Bright House hasn’t announced when it will extend Echo to systems serving areas such as Bakersfield, Calif.; Detroit, Mich.; and Birmingham, Ala.

Bright House joins operators such as Comcast and Cablevision Systems that are ramping up deployments of advanced wireless gateways that integrate DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems. Comcast and Cablevision are also using those devices to broadcast separate SSIDs that turn those devices into quasi-public community hotspots that can be accessed by their respective cable modem subs.

That integrated strategy is in contrast to the one underway at Charter Communications. Instead of integrating the home networking piece, Charter has been leasing out separate 802.11ac WiFi routers made by Netgear and outfitted with Charter-specific middleware.