Comcast-related news hasn't been positive lately, at least from a user's standpoint, as Comcast has been proven to be blocking P2P communications. Even the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has weighed in on that one. This week at the CableNEXT conference, some positive news: Comcast Chief Technology Officer Tony Werner said in his Wednesday keynote that 20% of homes would be DOCSIS 3.0 capable by the end of 2008.
Cable companies may have made a name for themselves as speed kings early in the broadband wars, but the current bandwith limitations of DOCSIS 1.1 leave it looking paltry indeed when compared to Verizon's FiOS 50Mbps down/30Mbps up packages. DOCSIS 3.0 won't completely close the gap between cable and fiber, but its transfer rates of up to 160Mpbs down and 120Mbps up will still offer a considerable improvement over currently deployed equipment. DOCSIS has already proven it's capable of delivering higher throughput speeds—last year Korean cable operator ARRIS demonstrated a pre-DOCSIS 3.0 network capable of delivering content above 100Mbps per second.
What's the bad news? As usual, an asymmettric rollout, with upload not getting any "goodness" until late 2008 or 2009, which just makes Verizon's new symmetric FIOS look all the better.