Comcast Gets Down to Business With DOCSIS 3.1

Comcast is expanding the utilization of its DOCSIS 3.1 rollout by introducing two new broadband tiers for small- and mid-sized businesses that deliver 500 Mbps or up to 1 Gbps (downstream) initially to customers in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Nashville.

Using DOCSIS 3.1, a next-gen platform for widely deployed hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network, Comcast Business is introducing two new broadband services – “Business Internet 1 Gig” and “Business Internet 500." 

Update: The downstream speeds of those tiers are being paired with upstream speeds that max out at 35 Mbps. CableLabs is working on an extention to DOCSIS 3.1, called Full Duplex, that will enable symmetrical speeds. 

RELATED: 'Full Duplex' DOCSIS Speeds Ahead 

Comcast is rolling out the new tiers as business services continue to be a key growth driver for the company. Comcast pulled in about $1.4 billion in business services revenue in Q3 2016, up 15.5%. The company is scheduled to report Q4 results on Thursday (Jan. 26).

Pricing for those tiers vary based on customer needs, and include features that are tailored for business customers, including guaranteed up time, night and weekend installation windows, no data plans, static IP addresses, and 24/7 support from business service experts, but general pricing starts at $499 per month for the 1-Gig service, and $399 for the 500 Mbps offering.

On the residential side, Comcast has been selling a D3.1-based 1-Gig service for a base price of $139.95 per month, and has also been testing a promotional base price of $70 per month when customers agree to a three-year service contract.

Cable-Tec Expo: DOCSIS 3.1 Working As Advertised

Comcast has already identified several markets that are in line for DOCSIS 3.1 deployments in the early part of 2017, including Miami, Denver, San Francisco, and Kansas City, among others.

RELATED: Comcast Sets DOCSIS 3.1 Expansion

Comcast Business, which also offers 1-Gig and multi-gigabit speeds using fiber, noted today that it plans to launch its DOCSIS 3.1-based Business Internet 1 Gig and Business Internet 500 offerings in the majority of its service areas throughout 2017 and into 2018.

“High-capacity, high-performance internet can be a difference-maker for businesses that want to leverage software-as-a-service applications to improve their operations or enhance the customer experience by offering in-store Wi-Fi or a robust e-commerce site,” Kevin O’Toole, senior vice president of product management at Comcast Business, said in a statement. “DOCSIS 3.1 business internet service offers a new and easy plug-and-play option for accessing gigabit speeds in any business environment – whether that is a large distributed enterprise across a wide geographic area or a small business with one or a few locations.”