Broadband Bytes for 2015-04-03

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8 Responses to Broadband Bytes for 2015-04-03

  1. charles says:

    “For me, the biggest thing that gets lost in the marketing race toward gigabit speeds isn’t line quality –it’s price. Many users would likely take a decent 30 Mbps connection at a great price, but a lack of competition keeps pricing high — and the race toward gigabit networks (predominantly aimed at high-end development communities) tends to obscure the conversation about pricing. Price was notably and intentionally absent from Comcast’s recent two gigabit announcement. Even Google Fiber customers would surely enjoy a slower, cheaper tier somewhere between its current 5 Mbps and 1 Gbps offerings.”

    What we need is more competition.

  2. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    Tiers are an imaginary thing, regardless of the speed chosen the costs of connecting a user is the same. Especially on shared/ring topology networks(such as docsis 2.0/3.0/3.1 or GPON(google fiber or verizon).

    When networks offer 5mbit service they are either loosing money, or making nothing on that connection.

    The advertised speeds of networks that are actually obtainable,(50/100 comcast, 20..*cough*1.5*cough* century link *wink eye roll*), these speeds are simply the basic deliverable rates offered by those technologies, The price of the 50mbit tier on Comcast has nothing todo with the cost of providing that connection, it is simply to them the lowest price worth providing any service at(the impossible to buy fcc mandated 3-5mbit basic service not withstanding, its a merger requirement that will eventually expire btw).

    Competition will help with the charged rates for the advertised services, it won’t bring lower tier services. Don’t get me wrong a win, but good luck ever getting non government based competition, anywhere that isn’t cheap as dirt to deploy with high user density(look at the places you can get google fiber, all dense urban area’s), and even then that requires a great deal of government hand out’s to even make possible.

    • charles says:

      “Tiers are an imaginary thing, regardless of the speed chosen the costs of connecting a user is the same. Especially on shared/ring topology networks(such as docsis 2.0/3.0/3.1 or GPON(google fiber or verizon).”

      If I understand you correctly I disagree with you.

      There is a fixed cost (billing, very small) and a variable cost. The variable cost can be quite large. The cost to support all customers at 1G in servers, converting video channels to data channels and back haul charges is certainly much larger than the cost to support all customers at 10M. Billings costs my be the same, but the infrastructure costs differences between two orders of magnitude are certainly significant.

      This is especially true for a shared medium like cable. Shared between customers and video vs data. Dedicating enough channels to carry data (vs SD/HD video) carries significant costs.

  3. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    A docsis connection is a docsis connection, is a docsis connection. same for gpon same for DSL.

    back haul costs are by far the lowest cost of a connection, The largest cost is by far is the transport fee from the home to the service provider, And the cost of that transport is primary in the amortized expense of the wires original installation, and on going under writing of costs related to maintenance.

    The conduit install sits at a cool $52,000 per mile in soft soil and $83,000 for rocky soil to install. That is just the conduit, that doesn’t include pulling wire through it or the wire, ground boxes, equipment, licenses, or easement access charges, etc.

    And you are not going to get “full” utilization on the last mile either, You can pull your service out to however many places you want but you have to accept the risk of the utilization level varying from place to place, meaning that your have to charge enough to cover that as well.

    The sunk expense of the basic network is a vast monster that completely eclipses, any account/billing, or back haul fees.

    When Xmission charges you $50 or $60 dollars for service only about $15 dollars of that are left over after the transport fee they pay to Utopia or Century link. In that they have to cover their billing/accounting, advertising, back haul, datacenter, and profits.

    Its not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with me, these are known quantities, the costs are what they are

    • charles says:

      For Comcast, with it’s existing coax last mile, a 10M customer costs almost nothing, 100M customer costs are significant, and a 1G customer cost is huge (impractical).

      The reason is simple. Coax can only support something like 100 6M channels for video or data. Each 6M channel can support 40M if used for data. That’s 4 1G customers, 40 100M customers, or 400 10M customers. If we assume a typical last mile cable loop is >1000 customers it is easy to see how much cheaper it is to support 10M customers vs 100M customers and how much more expensive it will be to support 1G customers. Make what ever assumptions you want. The ratios stay the same. How many customers can share the last mile loop makes a huge difference in the cost to provide the service.

      Infrastructure cost for a Comcast last loop of 1G customers are huge compared to 100M and 10M is insignificant compared to 10M.

  4. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    A docsis connection is a docsis connection is a docsis connection,


    Docsis 3.0 runs at 42.88Mbit per channel, and is bonded in sets of atleast 4 channels(5 if you include the upload channel).


    Docsis does not support Gigabit rates, To support gigabit you have to replace the middle mile loop that the last mile connects to. AKA the cost of every customer on that loop increases NOT JUST THE ONES WITH GIGABIT.


    Internet is oversold, it can be people don’t use their internet all at the same time, this is the sole reason that comcast can offer 250mbit connections in Provo, they are likely bonding 8 channels together using docsis 3.0. This is why your 105Mbit boost connection slows down during peak hours. BTW industry standard oversell rate is about 40 to 1, and the faster your service, the higher this can be.


    Note in Provo they did not create lower tiers, the advertised tier got faster, and a bit cheaper,


    5Mbit customers on a loop that can handle 1Gbit, cost for the transport to the internet provider, the same as a 1Gbit customer on the same loop.

    The transport providers costs are in the ground where the conduit, copper and fiber are. followed by equipment, Followed by maintenance costs. Especially for a switched Ethernet network like Utopia,

    Further Comcast may have passed 1000 address with a loop, they most certainly won’t have 1000 customers in that loop, maybe half take a service, with around 2/3 that taking internet, or 375 users, and they will use 8 docsis 3 channels and 2 docsis 2 channels, and 2 upload channels, putting them in around 900mbit of capacity,

    Their costs are the same regardless of the service level you choose to buy,

  5. Mike says:

    Don’t forget that because cable is a closed system, they don’t have to leave “holes” between the various broadcast channels like over-the-air transmissions do. So while OTA used to be limited to around 80-90 channels, if you switch your TV to “cable” mode, you can get close to double that (ie, about 180 channels, not 100).

    There’s LOTS of room for them to bond DOCSIS channels. For most serviceable addresses in non-rural areas, it’s not that far (less than a mile) to the nearest fiber box; they could then run a second coax run. In point of fact, for most neighborhoods, they wouldn’t need to go that far. As Ronald points out, they may run “by” 1000 homes with a “local” loop (I suspect most are more like 500 homes) and only 2/3 may take service. But there’s coax to the neighborhood to support probably 75% of the homes “just in case” someone who didn’t previously have a cable connection decides to connect. So for the cost of running (at most) a few hundred feet of coax, they could in theory run a dedicated coax for ‘gigabit’ customers and give you actual dedicated bandwidth. EVEN IF they had to run a new line, it wouldn’t appreciably increase their costs beyond the cost of the coax, which is in the pennies-per-foot range.

  6. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    docsis 3.1 can run gigabit service, but needs low noise floor on the coax, to many vampire clamps or, dings in the wire, or the wire simply being to long can be a problem. most often they will need to split loops and replace parts of the loop to get it working, which is expensive. Don’t be surprised if docsis 3.1 is oversold 100 to 1.

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