Mediacom: Subs Flocking to 1 Gig Speeds

Who knew 1 Gig services might turn out to be popular even when priced fairly high? Mediacom certainly didn't.

In a pleasant surprise, the fifth-largest US cable operator is enjoying strong early subscriber interest in its new 1 Gig service powered by DOCSIS 3.1 over HFC lines. And that interest is there even though the cableco does not heavily discount the service nor offer any extra benefits. So go figure.

Speaking at Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference in Denver two weeks ago, Mediacom Communications Corp. CTO JR Walden said somewhere between 10% and 20% of new broadband subscribers are flocking to the cableco's new 1 Gig service, which it promotes as the fastest of its five speed tiers following a 16-month rollout throughout its 3-million-home footprint. Calling this early take rate unusually high, Walden said it compares quite favorably with the operator's initial penetration rate for DOCSIS 3.0 and the earlier DOCSIS specs. The 1 Gig service costs about $140 a month on a standalone basis and about $125 a month when bundled with other cable products like video and voice.

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"It's working great," Walden said. "It's also doing really well… far better than we thought it would do." Customers "are buying it at a really significant rate and we're happy to fill that need."

Mediacom, the fifth-largest cable operator in the US, has been one of the most aggressive US MSOs in rolling out DOCSIS 3.1, which can enable speeds as high as 10 Gbit/s downstream and 2 Gbit/s upstream. After upgrading its 22-state HFC plant for the new spec, the operator has been busy installing D3.1 cable modems in the homes of its data customers, covering 30% to 45% of its 1.2 million data households so far.

Notably, Walden said, Mediacom's early 1 Gig customers don't appear to be using the faster speeds in any new ways. For more on this story, please turn to our sister site, Broadband World News.