Google Fiber’s arrival in markets represented a destabilizing agent that had likely been steady for years, if not decades, beforehand. Suddenly a competitor offered a communications package that was potentially 10 times faster than the best a cable provider could offer, and for less cost. Worse, some packages were outright free, and not that much lower speed than cable providers. This prompted a push to advance the market in cable’s favor, and one new technology may make a level playing field with fiber: gigabit coax.
What Is Gigabit Coax?
Gigabit coax is, essentially, coaxial cable connections that can offer gigabit speeds. This is accomplished thanks to a recent advance known as Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.1, which can be used to boost downstream speeds deep into the three-digit megabit range or even all the way to full gigabit.
How Gigabit Coax Is Making Its Mark on the Market
While the explanation of gigabit coax might sound like techno-jargon gone awry, its true impact is in what it can do for those who bring it in—beyond just faster speeds.
New options in service provision. Faster speeds are all fine and well—no one has ever looked at their internet connection and said “that’s fast enough”—but gigabit coax represents several new opportunities. It’s being used with software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) systems, with new Wi-Fi options and further improvements in managed services.
Highly flexible. Gigabit coax can be used in all the same ways as regular cable internet; it’s essentially the same concept, only much better. This means it becomes an effective backup communications channel or an equally effective primary channel. It can actually be sold alongside fiber with a very simple sales pitch: “What do you do when the fiber goes out?”. It can be used effectively as a redundant channel, and it can be used for traffic offload purposes as well.
Improved competitive capability. When gigabit coax first launched, Spectrum Business Internet Gig was available to only 49% of the customers in the overall Charter ecosystem. By the end of the year, that number will rise until all—or at least nearly all—of the market has access. Charter is clearly eager to get this service in customers’ hands, which means its competitors will be eager to follow suit to remain viable in the market.
Little new infrastructure needed. The best part about gigabit coax is that it can take advantage of coax that’s already been laid down. Unlike fiber, which needs a whole new kind of cable going out, upgrading to gigabit coax can be done with comparatively few upgrades. The modem, naturally, needs to be upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1, along with an embedded multimedia terminal adapter (EMTA). A new router may also be needed that has advanced Wi-Fi capability, but beyond that, the job is largely done. Upgrades that formerly took weeks can be done in roughly five to 10 business days.
Improved market access. Gigabit coax can make an effective market case to anyone who already has cable internet. Better yet, it also represents a way to recover customers lost to fiber services thanks to the enhanced speeds. This means nearly any professional service, many manufacturing operations, and even private homes can be sold on gigabit coax with comparatively few issues.
Multiple user-ready. Business service isn’t like home service; while homes might have three or four users on one spur, businesses could have dozens. Gigabit coax can provide the speeds and latency that let multiple users put the connection to work at the same time, more effectively than previous cable offerings could.
Highly secure. Gigabit coax even accounts for security. It’s not only capable of supporting a range of advanced products—including cloud-based security tools—but it’s also backed up by 24/7 customer care systems. The combination of security tool access with round-the-clock customer care helps ensure the connection stays inviolate.
Future-proofing. Best of all, this isn’t the end for cable’s advancement. DOCSIS 4.0, known as Extended Spectrum DOCSIS, is already in development. That means future cable internet could be even faster than the gigabit coax seen today.
How to Take Advantage of the Gigabit Coax Revolution
There’s a lot to like about gigabit coax, and putting it to work could represent the kind of edge that keeps firms in the market for years to come. When you’re looking to take advantage of this exciting new technology, reach out to us atInnovative Business Solutions. We’ve got over 500 partners nationwide, and work with managed service providers, IT vendors and more to help deliver just what you need for your own customers. If you’d like to start offering gigabit coax, get in touch with us.