Forget FiOS, DOCSIS 3.0 is Coming!

Nothing gets me more giddy than learning about new Internet technologies that may wind up in my household one day and today's AP article about Comcast's demo of DOCSIS 3.0 is no exception. Currently, cable modems use a coaxial cable line to shoot data down a TV channel. The fastest throughput this method has been able to achieve lies around 8-10 megabits.

A new revision of cable modem technology dubbed DOCSIS 3.0 uses four TV channels for data delivery and delivers an unbelievable 150 megabit per second download speed! Unfortunately, the article didn't say what kind of upload speed this new technology will be able to provide but I was able to research and find a potential upload speed for DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems of around 120mbps.

In the presentation, ARRIS Group Inc. chief executive Robert Stanzione downloaded a 30-second, 300-megabyte television commercial in a few seconds and watched it long before a standard modem worked through an estimated download time of 16 minutes.

Generally, I would much rather use an Internet service based around fiber lines (FiOS) than old coaxial lines but Verizon's FiOS service has been rather slow at laying new fiber lines to residential areas. Cable providers should be able to offer DOCSIS 3.0 service to residential areas "within less than a couple years". What does this mean? This means that within 5 years we might be seeing YouTube HD (if YouTube is still around...) in addition to many more people relying on online data storage to safeguard personal documents, perhaps even an online OS.