Comcast Demos 150 Mbps Cable Modem

At the National Cable and Telecommunications Association Conference in Las Vegas this week, Comcastis CEO Brian Roberts demonstrated a cable modem downloading at 150 Mbps, according to the Mercury News (AP)

The new technology is called DOCSIS 3.0 which was developed by the cable industryis research group Cable Television Laboratories. The initiative was developed thanks to competition from Verizonis optical fiber network, FiOS. The top speed of FiOS is currently 50 Mbps.

DOCSIS 3.0 works by aggregating the bandwidth from four TV channels, channel bonding, a process used in the past with analog modems.

In the demonstration, assisted by ARRIS Groupis CEO, Robert Stanzione, a 300 MB video was downloaded in just a few seconds. A 32 volume Encyclopedia Britannica and Merriam-Websteris visual dictionary consisting of 55 million words and 22,000 pictures was downloaded in under four minutes. The audience was described as "dazzled."

"Other cable industry executives, including Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Richard Parsons, News Corp. President Peter Chernin and Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, cheered the demonstration during a panel afterward," the AP reported.

"Itis an exponential step forward and weire very excited," Mr. Roberts said. "What consumers actually do with all this speed is up to the imagination of the entrepreneurs of tomorrow." He also predicted that these modems could be available, "within less than a couple years."