Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) today announced that it is leveraging the capacity of its fiber network to introduce two new Optimum Online premium tiers that will increase the speed of its Internet products to up to 50 Mbps. Cablevision is also increasing the speed of its Optimum Online service to all customers, from its current speeds of 10 megabits-per-second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps up at no additional cost.
According to Cablevision, "The introduction of these new speed tiers completes the continuum between Cablevision's cornerstone Optimum Online consumer service and the Metro Ethernet services offered to large businesses by the company's Optimum Lightpath division, allowing Cablevision to offer a full range of data and Internet services that meet any possible level of need in the home or at work."
Cablevision will begin to deploy the new speeds and service levels immediately, with the accelerated Optimum Online service and Optimum Online Boost available across the company's entire service area by the middle of 2006. Optimum Online Ultra is already available across the company's entire service area. Customers will be updated directly regarding availability in their specific areas.
Damn, and I used to have Cablevision service when I lived in Norwalk, but I moved and now I have Charter, which gives me a decent 3Mbps downstream but until recently only 128Kbps upstream (it's now 256Kbps). Heck, my Vonage line uses about 90kbps when in use leaving only 38kbps left for any VPN access, uploading files to work, P2P usage, etc. In fact, I wrote about how I was able to flood my upstream causing my cable modem to crash when I was attempting to stream live TV from my home PC to my work PC. I griped about how poor my upstream was and how streaming knocked not just my data connection offline but my VoIP (Vonage) service as well.
I have to wonder how much hyperbole is in this release though. Even with the DOCSIS 2.0 spec, a cable modem tops out at 38Mbps, which means their claim of 50Mbps seems like marketing fluff to me. Although, I did recall a release with Narad Networks and Cablevision which claimed to increase coax speeds. In fact, the release states:
The Cablevision installation uses Narad's coax-based outdoor Ethernet switches, which leverage the spectrum above 860 MHz to create new, QoS-managed bandwidth. The use of a switching fabric assures data security and network monitoring needed for enterprise telecom services. The Narad architecture evolution will allow 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps symmetric Ethernet to be carried, in the last mile, over any combination of fiber, coax, and wireless transmission media.
Wow! 1Gbps over coaxial copper that travels for miles? What the heck kind of voodoo physics is this? Even Cat 6e twisted pair network cables used for wired networks has issues of reaching or even exceeding 1Gbps at a paltry 100m limit, so how is coaxial reaching these speeds at multi-mile distances? Someone please explain this to me. If their claims are true, I'm beginning to regret my move away from Norwalk where I could have had high-speed symmetrical bandwidth over coax. That and the fact my commute went from 0.8 miles to 32 miles. ;)