Speed

Competitive cable provider WOW! has upgraded its network infrastructure in part of Panama City, Florida and plans to offer service supporting 2 Gbps downstream and 200 Mbps upstream to “a select group of customers.”

The company said it will announce network upgrades in additional markets in “the near future.”

WOW! is the latest cableco to upgrade its network to support multi-gigabit speeds and to boost upstream speeds. The goal is to address shortcomings that have made cable companies less competitive in markets where another provider has deployed fiber broadband.

The company was able to increase the speeds that the network can support by deploying distributed access architecture (DAA) over the company’s existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) infrastructure. HFC uses fiber to a neighborhood node. From there, the cableco uses coaxial cable to connect to customer homes.

DAA pushes network intelligence closer to the network edge by deploying additional technology at the neighborhood node. In so doing, DAA improves the signal-to-noise ratio, thereby supporting faster speeds.

Deploying DAA is one several network upgrades that cable companies are making to support DOCSIS 4.0, the next generation of cable modem technology. DOCSIS 4.0 should provide a further upstream and downstream speed boost, as well as other benefits.

DOCSIS 4.0 has seen limited commercial deployment but should see a boom in 2024, as the technology becomes more widely available. It’s a key element of a range of cable industry initiatives that the industry has dubbed “10G” and which WOW! references in its release.

Those initiatives are aimed at eventually supporting speeds of 10 Gbps downstream but upstream speeds will be somewhat less.

“As we plan for the ever increasing consumer demand for bandwidth, our goal is to proactively enhance our network and offer customers our most advanced technology at any given time,” said Gary Nilsen, senior vice president, access networks at WOW!, in a prepared statement.

“In addition to delivering greater capability and HSD speeds, the technologies being tested will help minimize the need for future upgrades. We look forward to further validating the enhanced capabilities of our network with this trial in Panama City.”

“WOW! has had a strong presence in Florida for many years and it’s important to us to ensure our legacy markets are getting the fastest, highest quality service we have to offer,” added Henry Hryckiewicz, CTO of WOW!

“The trials in Panama City are an essential step in our broader plan to expand the capability of our network, in a very cost effective manner, for our legacy markets across the Midwest and Southeast.”

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