Comcast DOCSIS 3.1 Upgrade Will Blanket Its US Footprint With Gigabit Internet By 2018

Over the past few months, Comcast has been ramping up its deployments of Gigabit Pro in select markets around the United States. Gigabit Pro, which was first announced in Atlanta earlier this year, offers customers symmetrical 2Gbps speeds, making it twice as fast as Google Fiber.

However, Gigabit Pro isn’t for everyone. In addition to hefty startup costs that total $1,000 ($500 installation, $500 activation), Gigabit Pro will set you back a princely sum of $299.95 per month. With that being said, Comcast is looking to bring fiber to the masses and hopefully at a cost that’s more in line with Google Fiber than Gigabit Pro.

comcast gigabit pro

Beginning in early 2016, Comcast will start upgrading its entire U.S. network from DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1. As we reported earlier, this initial upgrade will bring customers speeds of up to 1Gbps. Customers looking to take advantage of the “starter fiber” 1Gbps speeds will need new DOCSIS 3.1 modems, which Comcast will make available to customers starting next year.

Comcast has plans to complete its nationwide DOCSIS 3.1 overhaul by the end of 2018, and will likely eventually offer downstream speeds that far surpass that of even Gigabit Pro, which is being offered in select markets in the states of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, and California. DOCSIS 3.1 is extensible to 10Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream.

Comcast’s market trials for DOCSIS 3.1 will begin before the close of 2015. "We want to get it across the footprint very quickly," said Comcast VP for Network Architecture Robert Howald. ”We're shooting for two [to three] years.”

Comcast, however, isn’t the only service provider that is dabbling with 10Gbps fiber internet speeds. Verizon has completed trials of its high-speed fiber-to-the-premises network that offers 10Gbps speeds. Verizon’s network, which uses optical line terminal (OLT) technology is capable of achieving 40Gbps to 80Gbps speeds as demand ramps up.