Say what you like about the benefits of fiber-optic communications, and the future of home broadband: Cable hasn't given up the ghost just yet. Next month Cablevision will unveil its top-tier broadband service that speeds along at a truly blistering 101 Mbps.
That figure represents download speed, and it means if you had the service you'd be able to download the equivalent of 150 MP3 tracks in a single minute. Of course the benefits would be wasted on mere music tracks for your iTunes collection—the incredible data rates are most useful if you're into downloading HD movie content for your HDTV. Upload speeds with the service, on the other hand, are surprisingly limited to a mere 15 Mbps—much, much slower, but perhaps it's Cablevision's way of limiting your urge to upload pirated content over P2P services? Cablevision plans to roll out the service, based on the DOCSIS 3.0 next-gen cable technology starting next month.
Of course, since this is going to be the top-tier of service, it's going to cost you a top-tier price: $100 per month. Though that does sound expensive, it compares well with existing Cablevision prices of around $50 for 15 Mbps, and even Comcast's $139 for a 50 Mbps connection. Even Verizon's future-facing fiber-optic service FiOS has a similar top-tier speed of 50 Mbps, and the same $140 price as Comcast.
This news is a pleasant antidote to the unpleasant antics of Time Warner Cable, that wants to quash free and fair competition for similarly fast broadband in Wilson, North Carolina. Perhaps, it's not quite time to snip the cable—just yet. After all, the new-tech, DOCSIS 3.0, has a theoretical max speed of around 300 Mpbs, and the last time Verizon feared the business impact of improved Cable broadband, it pushed its FiOS speeds from 30 Mbps to 50 Mbps.