Could LTE Bury The Dinosaur Cable Coax?


I'm enjoying surfing the net on my home computer at speeds upwards of 28Mb/s. It's fantastic. I never thought I'd be enjoying such high speeds.

To my surprise, the Mediacom company is offering 2 packages that are even faster that what I currently have: a 50Mb/s Ultra, and 105Mb/s Ultra Plus.

That's insanely fast, as far as I'm concerned. Just a few years ago, the techie prognostocators said we'd never see Internet speeds of even 50Mb/s like Europe, because the US is too spread out and we don't have a majority dense tightly packed city population like they do with a great copper wire network.

But as awesome as it sounds to surf at 105Mb/s on your home computer with Mediacom, they might be obsolete within a couple of years. Chances are, they are topped out on how far they can go with increases in speed packages.

To get the Ultra Plus 105Mb/s package, Mediacom had to do a lot of hardware upgrades to their network. They worked hard on updating modems, switches, and the fiber optic lines. But they also had to find a source of available bandwidth to run the data.

From what I know, I believe this came from decomissioning 2 different sets of available bandwidth from their analog television channel offerings. They had to trade out the use of those frequencies, and add them to the existing 2 frequency ranges that they were already using in order to create the 105Mb/s package. Each range has a capability of pumping out roughly 25Mb/s of data.

Long story short, it looks like they are topped out. All the while, the big mobile network providers are rolling out LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G service across the nation, with no wires, providing download speeds as high as 54Mb/s. Which do you think has the most capability for expansion? The topped-out big fat wire from the cable service provider, or the wireless LTE network?

Things will get interesting once we see the full rollout of LTE service right here in my home town. Once AT&T (my provider) tweaks the system and can reproduce the super high speeds that we already have in St. Louis and Kansas City, I might run out of reasons for keeping my cable modem.

The only stumbling block will be data charges. Can a mobile service provider dole out enough data for download at a reasonable price that can compete with the cable company? Right now, the answer is no.

Even at the lowest level for Mediacom, called "Launch", you get 150Gb of total data to download for your 3Mb/s service. Each package increases the amount you can download for the month, ending at 999Gb with Ultra Plus.

As we know, the cell service providers like capping us greedy data downloaders off at 250mb, 3Gb, and 5Gb. That pales in comparison. This could be the saving grace for Mediacom's high speed cable internet service... for now.

Carlton Flowers
Data Hog