Comcast Demos Wideband Modem Technology

May 8, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts today showed off a new generation of cable modems capable of downloading material as much as four times faster than current technology.
Mr. Roberts, in front of a general session at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association Convention in Las Vegas, quickly downloaded TV commercials and 32 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica at about 150 megabytes per second.
He said the wideband cable model system uses a “channel bonding” to create added bandwidth and was based on DOCSIS 3.0 technology from CableLabs, the industry technology consortium.
“Our customers are going to love what you’ll see today,” he said.
He said Comcast has not yet set a timetable for when the new technology will be deployed or how much it would cost, but noted that it was something that cable’s rivals wouldn’t be able to match any time soon.
While broadband has created challenges for both cable companies and the content creators that supply them, members of Tuesday’s panel, including Mr. Roberts, News Corp. COO Peter Chernin, Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons and Phillippe Dauman, CEO of Viacom, said broadband also created new opportunities that they were working to take advantage of.
In fact, the four top executives said they were confident big companies like theirs would survive the threats posed by upstarts like YouTube.
“I think the notion that the new kids on the block are taking over is a false notion,” Mr. Parsons said. “Ten years from now, these companies will still be here,” he said referring to the companies represented on the panel
Mr. Parsons recalled that when he was a kid, smaller kids were the best athletes because they had control of their bodies, while bigger guys like him were still growing. “When I finally did, the big guys wiped up the little guys,” he said.
Similarly, he noted content giants like Time Warner are steadily learning to adapt to the broadband space.
“When we do, we’re going to run the little guys down,” he said.
Mr. Chernin agreed, that the big media companies will continue to grow and acquire startups. “I believe you will see continued consolidation and the big continue to get bigger,” he said.
(Editor: Romanelli)


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