WideOpenWest is the latest major cable operator that's closing in on the finish line for rolling out 1 Gig service to nearly its entire service area.
WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) -- a long-time cable overbuilder that has now become the sixth-largest US MSO with more than 780,000 total customers spread across the Midwest and Southeast -- announced Wednesday that it has started deploying DOCSIS 3.1 in a number of new markets, including such major ones as Charleston, SC; Cleveland; Columbus; and Detroit. The cableco's other new markets for D3.1, which can enable multi-gig speeds both downstream and upstream, include smaller cities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Illinois.
With two more markets reportedly to be launched next month, WOW aims to blanket nearly 95% of its sprawling 3-million-home service area with DOCSIS 3.1 by the spring, as it announced late last year. The provider, which started deploying D3.1 in four markets in fall 2016, spent much of last year expanding its reach to most of its footprint. (See WOW Plans Gigabit in 95% of Footprint in Q1.)
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Like such fellow large US MSOs as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Mediacom Communications Corp. , WOW has been mainly relying on DOCSIS 3.1 over HFC plant rather than older DOCSIS 3.0 technology or fiber-to-the-home networks to deliver 1 Gig service. But, unlike its peers, it has also started leveraging a new virtualized Distributed Access Architecture platform from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) to free up more capacity for faster broadband speeds and other advanced services. (See In Cable First, WOW Distributes & Virtualizes the Access Network,)
WOW, which offers its 1-Gig residential service for as low as about $80 a month, has not yet disclosed how many of its broadband customers are opting for the new top-tier service. But it's in good company there as no US cableco has yet shared those figures. We'll keep tabs on that.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading