Suddenlink announced today they have launched a cable broadband service with max speeds of 107 Mbps. “Based on our research, we believe this residential download speed to be the fastest available in the U.S. today,” said Suddenlink CEO Jerry Kent. The DOCSIS 3.0 (D3) powered service is being offered in communities outside of Austin, Tx, with plans to launch in a “number of other communities this year.”

Combine Suddenlink’s new broadband prowess with Mediacom’s launch of a 105 Mbps service in Iowa recently and you find that rural cable MSOs are now offering the fastest broadband speeds in the country. It’s somewhat of an unexpected development. Usually, these advanced technologies trickle down from national cable providers to their rural brethren. And while large national providers are offering D3 services, a select number of rural cable MSOs are upping the ante with respect to broadband speeds. Other rural cable providers offering DOCSIS 3.0 include Midcontinent, Bend Broadband, Sunflower Broadband, and Armstrong.

We can certainly argue whether these 100 Mbps broadband tiers are more about marketing hype than a real competitive threat in the marketplace. Most customers have no need for such speeds (nor can they afford them), and they are the top end burst speeds, not the average speeds. But I do believe these developments are noteworthy. They signal these rural cable providers’ intentions to try to create competitive advantage with robust broadband capabilities. While these early announcements may not grab market share, they do lay the foundation for tough battles ahead for these service provider’s competitors.

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Broadband is quickly becoming ‘local service,’ if it hasn’t already for some. Ensuring your broadband is the ‘best and baddest’ option in your market is important. These cable MSOs are attempting to build that perception. It’s also important to note that the 100+ Mbps speeds get all the attention, but these upgrades also bring better 20 and 50 Mbps tiers, which compete quite well against DSL.

As for Suddenlink, this new development is part of a $350 million initiative labeled ‘Project Imagine.’ “Through ‘Project Imagine,’ the company aims to expand to substantially all Suddenlink communities: video-on-demand service; the capability for up to 200 high-definition (HD) TV channels; and industry-leading DOCSIS 3.0 technology, which enables Internet download speeds of 20, 50, and more than 100 Mbps,” says Suddenlink in a press release.

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10 thoughts on “With Suddenlink’s New 107 Mbps Broadband, Rural Cable MSOs Lead Nation With Fastest Broadband

    1. I stand corrected! I guess I'm looking at it this from a broader availability context, as opposed to a single provider. But your point is well taken. Actually $245, while relatively high, seems reasonable for 1 Gbps!

  1. Don't understand all the infatuation with 100 Mbps. No one needs it and it costs too much. if we raise broadband pricing by $3/month, customers are up in arms.

  2. I would be hard pressed to find anything on the internet that can deliver 100 Mbps sustained. We have a 300 Mbps connection at the office and I generally can't move things faster than 10 to 20 Mbps when I get content from a CDN.

    Frank

    1. What ISP are you using? I'm on a university connection (Level3 + Qwest + TransitRail) and I can pull 80 Mbps from some servers. Averages are closer to 20-40 Mbps, but it's still pretty fast.

      On my home connection (Comcast) I've tested 50 Mbps service and found that 50 Mbps downloads are indeed possible…you can't do them everywhere but some places you're good to go.

      1. We are the ISP…which servers are those, I would like to see what kind of performance I could get. And if you could supply a traceroute to those servers, that would be helpful.

        Speed tests against our local speedtest server are always good.

        Frank

        1. Depends on your connectivity with the outside world (which tier 1/Tier 2 providers you have in your BGP mix) but http://lg.fdcservers.net has saturated my pipe on a few occasions. The web host I use is MDDHosting; they're in SoftLayer, so a good amount of connectivity there. SPeed tests at lg.softlayer.com and http://fresco.mddhosting.com/~speed.

          As far as CDNs go, are you testing against Akamai, Highwinds or someone else? Akamai relies on DNS to pick the "closest" server available so it could be that you're trying to pull from one that's a longer ways away. I know of a test file on there if you want to try with various edge node IPs.

          If you're testing against SimpleCDN or Highwinds, you're testing against the wrong locatins, fat-out. Highwinds isn't so bad, but SImpleCDN doesn't have stellar performance from what I've experienced. Cachefly is decent but nothing to write home about. MaxCDN is pretty cool though…

          If you want to discuss more, my e-mail address is on my website, linked from here. hth!

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