Cablevision wowed us all earlier this week when it announced that it would be offering a 101 Mbps cable internet service to its customers starting May 11 for $100 a month.
Even more impressive, perhaps, is word that its 101 Mbps would be uncapped – particularly given how cable providers such as Time Warner Cable (and even smaller ISPs like Sunflower Broadband) are all about restrictions.
Verizon isn’t convinced by Cablevision’s claims of speed, however. Verizon’s PR man Eric Rabe wrote in the company’s policy blog and post skeptical of Cablevision’s service promise.
“With today’s technology, you don’t have to break much of a sweat to deliver 100 Mbps to a few customers,” Rabe wrote. “But given the inherent limits of the cable platform, a cluster of bandwidth junkies living near each other could be a real problem. One estimate is that a single 101 Mbps customer would use some 60% of the capacity in a neighborhood. Other users? Outta luck.”
“What happens when a customer with that speed hits the much slower Internet?” Rabe posed. “So Cablevision is offering very high speed service to a very limited number of customers when there is little evidence of market demand for the speed. It is a parlor trick.”
Rabe goes on to say that a fiber optic is the future of networking – which few will contest – but also points out that many parts of the internet are still connected together at speeds slower than 100 Mbps, saying that is why customers aren’t demanding speeds in the 100 Mbps range today.
“For now, CVC’s leap to 101 Mbps is about market positioning and bragging rights rather than delivering a useful service to a mass customer market,” Rabe said.
In the end though, Rabe realizes that competition such as this is good for the consumer, as he adds, “Competition is a key innovation driver, so in that sense FiOS along with CVC's product and the ultra-high-speed services of others, have the potential to spur the entire industry to breed new ideas at all levels…applications, content, information as well as transport.”