The service offered by Mediacom isn't limited to Jacksonville; it would provide 1 gigabit-per-second broadband services to virtually all of the 3 million homes and businesses within the 1,500 communities in the 22 states that it serves.
(TNS) -- It might take a few years, but Jacksonville is on the radar for lightning-fast Internet service known as gigabit broadband.
Right now, such service is available in only a handful of cities nationwide.
But Mediacom says it is planning to pump up the speeds across its business footprint through a $1 billion investment over the next three years.
Headlining the list of initiatives being planned is “Project Gigabit,” a wide-scale deployment of 1-gigabit-per-second broadband services to virtually all of the 3 million homes and businesses within the 1,500 communities in the 22 states that Mediacom serves.
A gigabit is a billion bits of data a second. Most Internet service now is measured in millions, or megabits, a second.
“A better way to compare is that a gigabit of data speed is 1,000 megabits per second, or roughly 100 times faster than typical Internet speeds today,” Mediacom communications director Phyllis Peters said Monday.
Peters said she’s not sure when the upgrade will come to Jacksonville-area subscribers.
“Regardless of whether the 1-gig speeds are actually launched in Jacksonville in late 2016 or in 2017 or early in 2018, work is under way now,” she said. “We don’t need to build a new fiber network. Mediacom’s network is extensive, robust and in place.”
But places where data signals touch or pass through equipment and electronic components are being upgraded. New equipment built to handle faster 1-gig-plus speeds and configured with higher specifications, all of that has to get in place, Peters said.
“Most importantly, the analog-to-digital channel conversions we’ve been doing in recent years, that is the key task that paves the way for the 1-gig launches,” she said. “Getting rid of analog signal use in our network reclaims, or gives back, an enormous amount of bandwidth that we will quickly re-purpose to dedicated ‘lanes’ that handle 1-gig data traffic.”
Peters said the final conversion of analog-to-digital channels for the Jacksonville area will be completed in July and August.
The company expects to bring the first wave of Project Gigabit communities online as early as the fall.
In addition to Project Gigabit, Mediacom’s $1 billion capital investment plan will fund a number of other customer initiatives, including:
“Mediacom is unique in making this type of investment in communities that are smaller in comparison with cities like Chicago or St. Louis,” Peters said. “When Jacksonville gains Mediacom gigabit broadband service in less than 36 months, residents in this community will be up there at the top with broadband speeds as fast or faster than most places, not just in Illinois or the United States, but among the fastest speeds in the world.”
Prices for such service have not been determined. In other cities with gigabit speeds, monthly fees range from $49 to $175.
©2016 the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.