Comcast Launches DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Nashville

Following recent evidence that a launch was on the way, Comcast announced Monday that it has booted up an “advanced consumer” trial of DOCSIS 3.1 in Nashville, where the MSO is offering a 1 Gbps (downstream) service for $70 per month if customers agree to a three-year contract, or $139.95 without it.

For the trial, Comcast has set up a web site that provides more info about the trial and allows customers to sign up to be picked for it.

In Nashville, Comcast competes with AT&T, which launched its GigaPower service there last year. Google Fiber has a network buildout underway in Nashville.  

“We’re delivering on our promise to make Nashville customers among the first in the world to enjoy this new Gigabit technology,” said Comcast Regional SVP Doug Guthrie, in a statement.  “The capabilities of DOCSIS 3.1 are incredibly exciting, and we are proud to be the first to market with a Gigabit offering that runs over our existing cable infrastructure.”

Comcast launched a similar trial in March in Atlanta, and has announced plans to launch D3.1 in Chicago, Detroit and Miami later this year.

Which modems are part of the trial in Nashville was not immediately known, though a D3.1-certified product from Technicolor is involved in Comcast's Atlanta consumer trial. So far, six cable modem vendors have notched CableLabs certification for DOCSIS 3.1.

 In Nashville, Comcast also sells a symmetrical 2 Gbps residential service called Gigabit Pro that uses fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology.

Atlanta and Nashville are two of a group of select markets where Comcast is testing data-usage policies.

On June 1, Comcast moved ahead with a new trial policy that sets the monthly data limit at 1 Terabyte (1,024 gigabytes). Customers who exceed that limit can buy additional buckets of 50 GB of data for $10 each (with a limit of $200), or move to a new unlimited data plan that runs an additional $50 per month.

However, customers in Nashville and  Atlanta who pick the $70 per month promotional rate (the one with the 36-month commitment), the unlimited data option ($50 per month) is included in the plan.  Subs on the non-promotional rate will be subject to the usage-based policies noted above. 

Comcast's FTTP-based Gigabit Pro service is currently uncapped.