Retailers can expect to be selling cable modems within the next 12 months, Australian 3Com officials claimed recently.
While right now modems are provided by cable operators Foxtel and Optus Vision, retailers are destined to take on the product as the market opens up, said David Elliot, 3Com's business development manager for cable access.
Two factors will cause this to happen. Firstly, Australia's cable operators will move to the DOCSIS open standard from the current products based on proprietary Motorola technology.
Secondly, modem manufacturers will be able to bundle provisioning software that will remotely turn on the ability to receive and transmit data. This will allow a user to buy a cable modem, take it home, plug it in, and start receiving data over their cable connection immediately. Today, the user needs to make a request to the cable operator to turn on data services.
Elliot expects both cable operators to soon start aggressively marketing and selling their data over cabling offering. "They have made massive investments in their cabling operations and they're looking for ways to increase that return," he said. "The delivery of data over cable is one way to do that."
Cable allows users to connect to the Internet at much higher speeds. Upstream connections can be as much as 10.2Mbps, while downstream connections can be as high as 3.8Mbps.