Cablevision Slays Bandwidth Bogeyman with Uncapped 100mbps Service

Beginning May 11, Cablevision Systems plans to introduce 101mbps Internet service for its 5 million subscribers in New York with no bandwidth cap. The deployment is made possible by it’s DOCSIS 3.0 implementation.

The 101mbps downstream,15mbps upstream service will cost users $99.95 per month.

As DOCSIS 3.0 is now making it possible for cablecos to deliver ultra-high-speed Internet, companies have been wrestling with how to prevent congestion while offering users a good experience at a reasonable cost. Monthly bandwidth caps, overage charges and other techniques have drawn criticism, however. Time Warner Cable, for instance, recently said it would run trials of usage-based pricing tiers that set a limit on how many gigabits of bandwidth a user could take up in a month. Opponents said that given the ongoing explosion of online data usage and video streaming, capping the amount of bandwidth would inevitably lead to overages and essentially force subscribers into using a $150-per-month unlimited usage option. In other words, the plan is just a thinly veiled attempt to raise prices, they said.

So far those same industry groups are praising Cablevision’s rejection of caps.

“We are encouraged by Cablevision’s plan to set a new high-speed bar of service for the cable industry,” said S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, in a statement. “If they will actually deliver the speeds and unlimited capacity they advertise, this is a long overdue step in the right direction.”

He also took a dig at other cablecos that have experimented with implementing overage charges.

“It does, however, beg the question why Cablevision can offer fast access with reportedly no caps or overage fees, when others claim such a plan would cause the sky to fall and an exaflood to break the Internet,” Turner continued. “We hope this new announcement will put an end to the bandwidth bogeyman.”

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