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Cable Show 2011: Roberts To Show 1-Gig Cable Modem

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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, in his demo planned for Thursday's morning general session, will show a custom-built DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem delivering more than 1 Gigabit per second downloads -- about 10 times the speed of the MSO's current fastest residential broadband.

Roberts' plans were reported Wednesday by PaidContent; a source close to Comcast confirmed the report. In the dmeo, he will show the modem downloading the entire 23-episode fifth season of NBC's 30 Rock in about 1 minute and 40 seconds.

During his presentation, Roberts also will provide a look at Comcast's new "Xcalibur" set-top and TV service, developed in partnership with its ThePlatform subsidiary, Intel, Pace and Facebook.

Several cable operators and equipment vendors have already shown off DOCSIS gear exceeding 1 Gbps. The U.K.'s Virgin Media, for example, is testing 1.5 Gbps, and Cisco recently showed off its CMTS delivering a 48-channel bonding group to hit nearly 1.6 Gbps at CableLabs' Winter Conference in Atlanta.

Separately at the Cable Show, Comcast is showing a demo of 100 Megabit per second symmetrical DOCSIS service for businesses -- providing 100 Mbps both upstream and downstream -- using an Arris modem with eight downstream and four upstream channels.

Also, Arris is staging a demo of a CMTS delivering 4.5 Gbps downstream over 128 channels and 575 Mbps upstream over 24 channels. The demo uses 16 DOCSIS 3.0 modems and measures the aggregated throughput. Arris is showing a "high split" on the upstream side of 5-200 MHz.

Other providers are experimenting with very high-speed broadband, including Verizon -- which has tested symmetrical 10 Gbps over its FiOS fiber-to-the-premises network -- and Google, which is building a 1-Gbps fiber-based network in Kansas City, Kan.