While Comcast expects total capital expenditures to be lower in 2009 than last year, the MSO plans to spend $400 million to $500 million deploying DOCSIS 3.0 to more than 65% of its footprint and freeing up spectrum with analog-reclamation projects in more markets.
The operator currently offers high-speed Internet services with up to 50-Mbps downloads to some 10 million premises, in about 30% of its footprint.
Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke on the operator's fourth-quarter earnings call Wednesday hinted that the MSO may be offering 100-Mbps services at some point.
"Speed really matters in this business, particularly when you see more video on the Internet and applications that get better with speeds," Burke said, noting that Comcast's goal is to get all broadband subscribers to a minimum level of 12-Mbps service, and "offer 50 or 100 meg in as many places as possible."
The upgrades to DOCSIS 3.0 represent a "replacement of spending we would normally incur for DOCSIS 2.0," Burke said.