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Comcast to Boost High-Speed Internet with Rollout of DOCSIS 3.1

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Comcast’s DOCSIS 3.1 technology

Comcast is facing increasing competition for high-speed Internet. This competition is not only from telecom players such as AT&T’s (T) U-verse service but also from a new entrant in the market, Alphabet’s (GOOG) Google Fiber.

Early this month, Comcast (CMCSA) announced that it plans to introduce a gigabit Internet service using DOCSIS 3.1 technology in Atlanta and Nashville. This service would be available to both residential and business customers in Atlanta and Nashville. It will extend to Chicago, Detroit, and Miami in the second half of 2016.

Comcast stated at its 4Q15 and fiscal 2015 earnings call that the company has not “priced the rollout yet” but expects to roll out the DOCSIS 3.1 technology “on a widespread basis” in the next couple of years.

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However, Charter Communications (CHTR), when asked about rolling out the DOCSIS 3.1 technology, stated in its 4Q15 and fiscal 2015 earnings call, “With regard to 3.1, we didn’t specifically plan for it in legacy Charter in this fiscal year, but the modems will become available commercially later this year and we think that it’s possible that we’ll start to deploy those modems in lieu of 3.0 modems.”

Charter’s management also stated, “We don’t have a specific plan to do that yet. But over the next 18 months, this platform is going to become available to the industry, at commercially deployable pricing. And we expect that we will begin the transition in the new Company over that timeframe.”

Comcast’s Gigabit Pro service

Comcast has also been deploying its high-speed Gigabit Pro service, which offers speeds of a maximum of 2 Gbps (gigabits per second). This service is available in certain parts of Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and Miami, among others. The company’s Gigabit Pro service is “now available to 18 million homes across Comcast’s national footprint.”

Comcast makes up 3.1% of the PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ). For an investor interested in getting exposure to the television and radio sector, QQQ has 4.7% exposure.

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