Cable Innovation Will Answer the Google Challenge

The Question usually comes with this preface “Google is bringing gigabit service to Atlanta.” (Maybe or maybe not, we’ll get to that another time.)

Then a pause for effect…

“What will cable do?” I’m hearing The Question a lot right now, which makes sense when your industry faces a competitor with a history of disrupting markets and a pile of cash. Some people ask the question with a hint of malicious glee in their eyes, like they can’t wait to watch the cable industry wither and die, the modern version of the buggy whip maker. For them I have bad news, cable is not going away any time soon. They are going to have to work out their issues some other way.

Others ask it because they are genuinely curious.  How will cable compete with the creative boldness of a Google?

And the answer is: Cable and its industry partners will do what they have always done…


Most people remember that it was cable’s infrastructure that first brought broadband and the speeds we enjoy today to the market. What they don’t know is that the same infrastructure is capable of even more as the electronics and software that transfer the data improve.

Take a look at this presentation by a company called GainSpeed from the Cable Labs Innovation Showcase this summer to see what I mean.

It gets tech heavy with industry jargon at some points but the sum of the discussion is that 6 to 10 gigabit broadband is possible through a residential cable modem in the not so distant future.

Next question?

By Stephen Loftin