My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: ComCast and 1Gbps Project Xfinity - Starship Troopers in Cable's Battle Los Angeles

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Friday, June 17, 2011

ComCast and 1Gbps Project Xfinity - Starship Troopers in Cable's Battle Los Angeles


I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11, King James Version

I love a Speed Race, Rihanna Shut up and Drive Style. Don’t you? Well, readers, I got one for you.

Triple Play Provider ComCast recently unveiled what I believe is a gauntlet challenge thrown down to the fiber Optics world.

I initially heard it from GigaOM Reporter Stacey Higginbotham as a rumor about a 1Gbps Broadband Service on Wednesday June 15th 2011AD as stated in the article “Comcast likely to show off gigabit cable broadband”, published June 15, 2011, 12:47pm PT by Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOM.

It seemed a bit far out, but very possible, I remember chiding myself at the time of reading her article, as thus far she has been spot on with her reports!

GigaOM Reporter Stacey Higginbotham herself noted that Arris, the Telecom Equipment Supplier (how about armourer?) to Triple Play Provider ComCast, had demonstrated a bonding [multiplexing] of the channels within DOCSIS 3.0  (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification).

Via this tweak of the DOCSIS 3.0 protocol, capable of 200Mbps, Arris was able to ramp up the speed to a very impressive 4.5Gbps as stated in the article “Forget fiber; cable shows off 4.5 Gbps speeds”, published June 13, 2011, 7:15am PT by Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOM.

As in, achieved over Copper Coaxial Cables, speeds previously unheard of for commercially available Wired Broadband!!!

That bit of news was a VERY BIG DEAL, as within the Telecoms World, only Fiber Optics Services are know to be capable of speeds in the 100’s of Megabits!

Case to point: The recent 1Tbps speeds achieved in April 2011AD by Telecom Provider Verizon and NEC as stated in my blog article entitled “Verizon, NEC and the Dawn of the Terabit Age - Audia's FlashDance and Surf's Up”.

Speculation is rife that by around the year 2014AD-2015AD, the US of A may have 1Tbps speeds, as does Hong Kong for US$20 on a thirty (30) day subscription as stated in the article “1 Gbps for $20 a Month? That’s Cheap Broadband!”, published June 2, 2011, 8:35pm PT By Om Malik, GigaOM, albeit it does not make the Internet any faster.

Already Telecom Provider Verizon provides 1Gbps speeds for Residential customers in November 2010AD as stated in the article Verizon intros 150MBps Broadband on Fios”, published November 22, 2010 3:31 PM PST by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength, CNET News.

This Telecom Provider Verizon demonstrated in August 2010AD as stated in the article Verizon demos 1GBps FIOS connection”, published August 16, 2010 2:55 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength, CNET News.

But this is Telecom Provider Verizon FiOS (Fiber Optic Service).

Not Coaxial Cable, long known to be prone to the Skin Effect, the heating of metallic conductors when carrying high frequencies, an effect accompanied by a severe Signal attenuation.

Consequently Waveguides are used to carry frequencies above 1GHz (Microwave Frequencies) at Cell sites up the Mobile Cell Tower to the Agisson or Andrew Cellular Antenna (albeit Fiber Optic is feasible here as well!). Ditto too for Ku-Band Geostationary Tracking Stations and Earth Stations!

Thus when Triple Play Provider ComCast CEO Brian Roberts did indeed unveil a modest but pretty fast 1Gbps Service on Thursday June 16th 2011AD called Project Xfinity as stated in the article “Comcast shows off 1 Gbps broadband”, published June 16, 2011, 8:33am PT by Om Malik, GigaOM, I knew that Arris tech probably had a hand in it.

More significantly, Telecom Provider Verizon FiOS has effectively awoken a slumbering Giant, the Cable Industry. And to imagine, it took only two (2) months for the Triple Play Provider ComCast to respond.

Triple Play Provider ComCast, which has significant Cable Infrastructure, is saved. At least for another one hundred (100) years!

Triple Play Provider ComCast response to the winds of technology change is improving! Heck, the words enlightened words of ComCast CEO Brian Roberts puts a smile on my face, quote: “In 2020, we will want more bits in and out of our homes and we will build that. I'm not sure what they will use it for, but I am confident that once we built it they will come.”

Effectively, the ComCast CEO Brian Roberts is making a long term bet on the future that he himself may never actually see, muchless live to see. It is an excellent hand to play!

Like Theoden, King of Rohan in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), he has regained his youth and look towards the defense of his kingdom against the coming insatiable demand for Broadband, which Fiber Optic Networks are yet to begin to tap.

In practical terms this simply means that Triple Play Provider ComCast is going streaming all the way, as CNET News Editor Marguerite Reardon as stated in her article entitled “Comcast shows off next-generation broadband, TV”, published JUNE 16, 2011 11:12 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

A wise defense, as this phenomenon of streaming was long in coming as stated in my blog article entitled “FLOW, IPTV and the coming of Net2Vu - Johnny Mnemonic”.

This would help to stave off cord-cutting, as many free streaming options exist and so many Cloud-Based Services slowly coming online.

Especially the behemoth known as Netflix, whose traffic has now surpassed even the Movie and Data Pirates on BitTorrent, accounting for 29.7% of all Broadband traffic in the US of A alone as stated in the article “Netflix Traffic Now Bigger Than BitTorrent. Has Hollywood Won?”, published May 17, 2011, 8:58am PT By Ryan Lawler, GigaOM.

Netflix has some way to go, though, as people still trust good old DVD and Blu-Rays as my blog article entitled “Netflix & the Death of Blu-Ray - Rise of the Machines meets Chicken Run”.

Plus Broadband is not everywhere, despite smartphone penetration being 50% of all mobile phones in the USA as my blog article entitled states “Nokia + Microsoft, Tablet and smartphone Prospects by 2015 - Three Software Musketeers”.

But the battle is definitely between Netflix and the Triple Play Provider as the article “Who are we kidding? Of course it’s Netflix vs. cable”, published June 14, 2011, 10:00am PT by Janko Roettgers, GigaOM highlights in nice little bullet points.

Thus the 1Gbps upgrade for Movie Streaming is a win for Triple Play Provider ComCast, no matter which way the coin falls: lose licensing deals for exclusive content, make up the lost profitability with increased Broadband Speeds.

Charging a premium for the service until technology and economics make it feasible to lower price – and charge higher prices again for the next faster speed bump!

Meanwhile in Jamaica……

Triple Play Provider FLOW here in Jamaica knows of this and as such would explain their speed bumps up to 100Mbps. As Cable TV watching starts to dwindle, Triple Play Provider FLOW should see a proportionate increase in Broadband Subscriptions and Streaming activity

Thus Triple Play Provider FLOW avoids losing customers to Wireless Networks such as Telecom Provider Digicel Broadband 4G and Telecom Provider LIME 3G Networks.

Both of whom are both now ramping up to a HSDPA+ Release 7 (High Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) Network Caribbean-wide as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME's US$80 million Caribbean HSDPA+ Release 7 Upgrade - Sonic the Hedgehog” and the article “Of ATC Strikes and Digicel 3G+ Upgrades - Pushing Tin in Eerie, Indiana”.

The reasons for the HSDPA+ Release 7 upgrade are all too clear: US and EU tourist packing smartphones, Tablets and cheaper Laptops as technology marches forward and the coming of London Olympics 2012 slated for a July 27th 2012AD premier.

But the Locals in the Caribbean will undoubtedly benefit, having gotten a decent albeit overpriced taste thus far, if the forums are to be believed.

The coming of Broadband Speeds is also a sure reason for the Local and Foreign Traditional Media to start taking decisive action to survive the transition to the Streaming Age and Cloud-Based Service powered by Wired and Wireless broadband as stated in my blog article entitled ‘LIME and American Tourist Data Avalanche - The US$80 Million Dollar CannonBall Run”.

I know; I use Television Jamaica to stream live local Television and Ziggy TV for my free cable Streaming for the London Olympics 2012 slated for a July 27th 2012AD!

Yes, I know: it’s all about the London Olympics 2012!

Outstanding work, Telecom Provider and Triple Play Provider in the US of A and Jamaica, Battle Los Angeles (2011) Style!

Traditional Media, watch your six, Starship Troopers (1997) Style!!
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