Originally published: April 28, 2009
Last updated: April 28, 2009 - 8:36pm
Starting May 11, Cablevision broadband subscribers can pay $100/month for new high-speed Internet service, which will deliver download speeds of up to 101 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 15 megabits per second. Such speeds can enable the download of up to 750 digital photos or 150 songs in one minute. It remains to be seen how much customer demand there is for new super-fast Internet access, which cable companies charge premium prices for. Comcast Corp charges up to $139 a month for its 50 megabit Wideband service in certain markets, for instance. Cablevision will be the first of the major U.S. cable operators to roll out new super-fast speeds to its entire network using a new cable technology called DOCSIS 3.0. Other cable operators like Comcast and Charter Communications started trying out the super-fast access speed in some of their regions last year. The cable companies are increasing access speeds in response to the launch of advanced digital services from phone companies Verizon and AT&T Inc, and also encouraged by the popularity of Web video services like Google Inc's YouTube and Hulu, a venture of News Corp and NBC Universal. Faster speeds will make it easier to watch video programing over the Web, but there are industry concerns that they might also make it easier for customers to 'cut the cord' of traditional cable TV subscriptions.
S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, asked why Cablevision can offer fast access with no caps or overage fees, when other Internet service providers claim such a plan would "cause the sky to fall and an exaflood to break the Internet."
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