Cable operators are preparing to, or have already begun, upgrading their hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks in order to offer higher-speed service tiers. There are many upgrade paths and corresponding strategies that cable operators could take, each with different considerations. In this paper each upgrade path will be analyzed from a strategic point of view contemplating topics such as capacity, tier capability, and traffic growth. These circumstances could be compared to those faced by telcos a decade ago when they had to decide whether to upgrade their digital subscriber line (DSL) networks to maintain competitiveness with HFC, although unlike DSL, HFC networks have a long life ahead of them. This paper will consider if lessons can be learned by cable operators from those circumstances. This round of network upgrades represents a significant investment, underlying the importance of a well-thought-out strategy to optimize return on investment.