Cable One said it has invested $950 million over the past three years to upgrade its network to be prepared to offer 10G services. The investments were made across all the company brands, which include Sparklight, Fidelity, Hargray and ValuNet.
“Looking to the future, we are laying the groundwork for 10 gigabit (10G) speeds,” said Julie Laulis, Cable One President and CEO, in a press release. “We are implementing the upgrades needed to our networks in order to deliver multi-Gig symmetrical speeds to our residential customers over the next few years.”
According to the release, Cable One’s investments include reclaiming spectrum used for traditional linear video and upgrading plant capacity to 1.8 GHz to allow for higher upstream speeds and symmetrical multi-Gig high speed internet service. The company also is “pushing fiber deeper into neighborhoods to maximize the bandwidth available to every home served.”
The cable industry uses the term “10G” to encompass a range of capabilities and standards, not all involving network speed. Among the other goals of the Cablelabs 10G standard: lower latency and enhanced reliability and security, both of which are referenced in the Cable One announcement.
Speeds will depend, in large part, on another element of Cablelabs 10G — the DOCSIS 4.0 standard — and it’s worth noting that while the DOCSIS 4.0 standard calls for speeds up to 10 Gbps downstream, maximum upstream speeds are 6 Gbps.
Although fiber broadband networks supporting XGS-PON or NG-PON2 technology can support 10 Gbps symmetrically, Cable One and some other cable companies are betting that their services will be able to remain competitive when they have implemented the Cablelabs 10G standards.
Not every cable company is embracing the Cablelabs 10G approach, however. Armstrong Cable, which as of last year was the nation’s 11th largest cable company, plans to rely in large part on XGS-PON and fiber broadband.
And some larger companies envision using a mixture of fiber broadband and DOCSIS 4.0, depending on conditions in a specific market.