High speed service comes with a high pricetag

Verizon's FiOS internet service has been very popular in the United States. The fiber-optic network's reliability and fast speeds have attracted over 3.1 million subscribers, and continues to be a major competitive threat to cable-based Internet Service Providers.

In response, many of those ISPs are either deploying or consider new speed tiers made available by DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems. These new modems allow for multiple channel bonding, and can theoretically achieve hundreds of megabits downstream.

Cablevision and Comcast are already making DOCSIS 3.0 services available to several major markets, and DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems are also available for purchase.

Canada's most populous city will now have access to these fast speeds as well. Rogers Cable Communications is launching its new "Ultimate Internet" tier in several phases across the Greater Toronto Area, which has a population of over 5.5 million people. Phase 2 neighborhoods will see the new service on September 18.

Rogers promises downstream speeds of 50 Mbps and upstream speeds of 2 Mbps for $149.99 a month. Unfortunately, the new service comes with a 175GB monthly usage cap, which could theoretically by reached in less than 8 hours at full speed. Customers will also be required to purchase a combination router and wireless-N gateway for $200, since many older routers appear to have problems with the new DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems.

Several Canadian ISPs such as Videotron and Cogeco have also launched DOCSIS 3.0 service in smaller cities.

"DOCSIS 3 is a critical last-mile technology that allows cable companies to more than double their Internet speeds and to compete with fibre-optic delivery systems," said Lawrence Surtees, Vice-President of Communications Research at IDC Canada Ltd.

"Customers will also benefit from the deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 because it enables Rogers Cable to enhance the allowances of their Internet service tiers for no extra charge to customers."

As a first step, Rogers will boost the download speed for its Extreme Plus tier to 25Mbps from 18Mbps, along with an increased usage cap of 125GB per month.

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