Cable MSO Market, U.S.: Comcast Goes Skinny, CenturyLink Spins its Own CORD

Posted by Mae Kowalke on Wednesday, April 05, 2017 with No comments

What's new in the U.S. cable MSO market? Here's a look at the latest news from a few of the major players in this market: Comcast's 'skinny' bundle and rumored all-IP ambitions, CenturyLink's take on the open source CORD project, Dish's plans to jump straight into 5G, and more. 


First up, Comcast. Light Reading recently confirmed that the MSO plans to launch a 'skinny' service bundle in new markets during third quarter 2017. "Xfinity Instant TV" (formerly "Stream" in early deployments) pricing will start at $15/month, reported Light Reading senior editor Mari Silbey. 

Rumors are also flying about Comcast's alleged plans to deliver IP-only video services to new customers by the end of 2017, reported Light Reading's Silbey. This speculation was apparently confirmed by National Cable Television Cooperative's president and CEO, Rich Fickle, during a recent speech to American Cable Association members. Comcast hasn't officially announced the plan yet, but Silbey noted in the Light Reading report that "Comcast has the capability to deliver all of its video content over IP today," with the holdback being "a large footprint of legacy set-top boxes."

In other Comcast news, the MSO is preparing to release new details about its upcoming wireless service launch, and appears to be moving toward a national footprint through new, broader distribution agreements with content owners. 


Meanwhile, CenturyLink is moving forward with using "its own virtualized broadband network gateway to support broadband services using the CORD design," RCR Wireless reported.  The operator claims it is the first to develop such a gateway using CORD. 

SDxCentral noted that this use of the open source 'Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center' design is part of CenturyLink's "commitment to fully virtualize its IP core network by the end of 2019."
More in the MSO Space

Finally, in other cable MSO market news:

  • The FCC is moving to ease broadband overbuild requirements for Charter Communications, dropping the mandate that the MSO extend broadband availability to a million U.S. households already served by another internet service provider (ISP), Light Reading reported.
  • Dish plans to jump straight into 5G service delivery, bypassing 4G, Light Reading reported. This moveto be accomplished through build-out of a next-gen wireless network using existing spectrum holdingsputs additional competitive pressure on major MSOs that see 5G as "a possible opportunity to build momentum in the mobile market after many past failed attempts."

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