Uncommon Wisdom

Jun 23 2009   1:15PM GMT

DOCSIS 3.0 spurs cable/telecom broadband “speed wars”

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

There are some signs that the DOCSIS 3.0 broadband speed wars are already having an impact on the market. Both Verizon and AT&T have been boosting their broadband speed tiers in preparation for the expected pressure on speed generated by cable companies. But there’s also a general industry push to sign new customers through incentives like the FiOS free-netbook deal.

Industry data shows that almost three of every four TV viewers will stay with their incumbent operator unless there’s some exciting incentive to switch. The summer is also a good time for promoting a change; with kids out of school and the main channels in reruns, there’s more interest in premium channels and in the use of the Internet for entertainment.

A more significant marketing initiative by Verizon is an increase in the uplink bandwidth to accentuate an area where cable lags even with DOCSIS 3.0. FiOS uplink speed has doubled or more in the lower tiers of the offerings, but pushing how fast uploading content could be risks encouraging P2P, which is the form of consumer uploading most commonly used.

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