April 28, 2009

Cablevision To Offer Fastest Internet Speeds

New York-based Cablevision Systems Corp has announced plans to offer the fastest Internet connection ever to be made available by any provider.

The company plans to begin offering plans with download speeds of up to 101 megabits per second and upload speeds of 15 Mbps as of May 11.

In addition to the new speedy plans, the company is boosting its Wi-Fi Internet service by 3 Mbps for free.

The company, which provides Internet access to about three million subscribers in the New York metro area, is in a race against rival Verizon Communications Inc., which is set to begin its FiOs service in New York City.

Verizon is offering a top Internet speed of 50 Mbps starting at $140 per month, while Cablevision is offering its service for $99.95 a month.

Cablevision's current plans run at about $45 to $50 per month for 15 Mbps.

Speeds such as those being offered by Cablevision are fast enough to download a full-length high-definition movie in less than 10 minutes, or 750 digital photos in one minute.

"Right now the real demand for 50 to 100 megabits is pretty limited," Todd Mitchell, analyst at Kaufman Bros, told Reuters. "But over the next two to three years, the number of video applications we all use will grow exponentially so it will become a necessary level of service."

Although faster Internet speeds will enable users to watch streaming video on the Web with more ease, industry analysts are somewhat concerned that it may cause them to do away with traditional cable TV subscriptions.

"The cable operators are trying to walk a fine line," said Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford Bernstein.

"They don't want to provide so much bandwidth that they foster the means to bypass their core service," he said.


On the Net: