Midco Sets DOCSIS 3.1 Field Trials

Following recent DOCSIS 3.1 lab trials, Midco is moving ahead with plans to roll with a field trial of the emerging multi-gigabit platform next month in Fargo, N.D., and follow by a pilot in Sioux Falls, S.D., before the end of 2016.

As previously announced, Midco will be using Cisco’s cBR-8 converged cable access platform to power the network-facing side of DOCSIS 3.1. Midco hasn’t revealed which modems it will use, but CableLabs recently certified products from five suppliers, including Technicolor, which recently acquired Cisco’s CPE business.

Midco (formerly known as Midcontinent Communications) has committed to delivering gigabit to its entire service area by the end of 2017. The MSO serves more than 330,000 customers in nearly 350 communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“Speed matters to our customers, and we have made it a priority to reshape our network to deliver the fastest, most reliable Internet service possible,” Jon Pederson, Midco’s CTO, said in a statement. “Cisco shares our vision for a fully scalable, efficient network that will take us into the future and manage the bandwidth demands of our increasingly connected lives.”

“Midco has been full speed ahead with its plans to deliver a DOCSIS 3.1-ready network,” added Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president, Service Provider business, products and solutions, at Cisco. “Through our collaboration, Midco customers will be among the first in the country to enjoy the fastest Internet connection available, unleashing a host of new experiences that can help make their lives better.”

Among other U.S. cable MSOs, Comcast announced plans to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 to a handful of markets this year.