RCN to Offer Wideband Cable Modem Options to Cost-Conscious Businesses

Cable provider RCN's business unit rolls out a wideband cable modem offer to budget-conscious companies.

Broadband services provider RCN announced Nov. 4 that RCN Business Services is expanding its data product suite by introducing wideband cable modem offerings through the rollout of Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification 3.0 technology to the SMB market.

The company plans to launch in Manhattan and in portions of Boston, due to the company's large fiber footprint in that area, as well as areas served by RCN in Eastern Pennsylvania.

RCN will leverage the Cisco DOCSIS 3.0 downstream channel bonding solution that includes the Cisco uBR10012 cable modem termination systems (CMTS) and Cisco DPC3000 channel bonded cable modems. The new services will offer peak data rates of 20M bps downstream/5M bps upstream, 40M bps downstream/5M bps upstream and 60M bps downstream/10M bps upstream. With one- to two-year commitments, pricing ranges from $59.99 to $199.99. RCN noted while other existing speed tiers are available to meet the specific needs of smaller businesses, all of the new DOCSIS tiers will be available to customers seeking a wideband option.

"DOCSIS 3.0 is designed to help our cable provider customers, like RCN, dramatically boost speeds using channel bonding technology," said Mark Palazzo, general manager of Cisco's cable access business unit. "DOCSIS 3.0 will enable cable MSOs to allow small business customers to leverage higher-speed tiers for increased productivity, Web hosting and VOIP adoption, all with faster speeds and attractive prices."

DOCSIS defines the communications and operation support interface requirements for a data over cable system. It permits the addition of high-speed data transfer to an existing cable TV (CATV) system. It is employed by many cable television operators to provide Internet over their existing hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) infrastructure. CableLabs, a nonprofit research and development organization, developed the DOCSIS international standard along with such companies as Cisco, Intel, Motorola and Netgear.

RCN Business Services Vice President and General Manager Mary Jane Horne said an offering that includes faster upstream and downstream speeds will further allow the company to develop solutions that meet the needs of their business customers.

"We anticipate that the midpoint 40/5M-bps data package will provide the best value for many SMBs," she said. "We engage closely with our clients, who tell us over and over about the tremendous pressures they face to find new ways to increase productivity and drive efficiency. Our rollout of DOCSIS 3.0 will make it easier for us to address this demand."