Comcast confirms we’ll see the rollout of DOCSIS 3.0—the next-gen data over cable standard allowing bandwidth of 160Mbps down and 120Mbps up—start next year, with 20 percent of its footprint expected to be blanketed in bandwidth goodness by the end of 2008. Even though Comcast isn’t saying where it’ll fall, markets where there’s FiOS are probably going to continue having all of the fat pipe fortune—competition is good for people in those areas, bad for the rest of us. Now for the real bad news:The upstream magic—where cable is so sorely gimped right now—is going to remain hobbly, at least at first. And it’s not ’cause Comcast is incompetent (for a change). As “a reflection of the status of upstream channel bonding technology” we won’t see upstream on steroids until deep into 2008 or even 2009. Consequently, while downstream’s getting a Rosie O’ Donnell plumping with initial offerings in the 20-50Mbps range—what Verizon’s offering now—upstream speeds still aren’t going to stack up, dulling the competitive edge DOCSIS 3.0 was supposed to bring against fiber.
That means The Flash is going to stay ahead of Quicksilver for the foreseeable future, since by 2009 Verizon’s GPON-based FiOS will probably cover the majority of its footprint, allowing them to flip a switch to out-juice whatever cable’s got by then. [Broadband Reports]