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Comcast Announces 2Gbps Fiber Service for Atlanta; Up to 18 Million Homes Nationwide May Eventually Qualify

Phillip Dampier April 2, 2015 Broadband Speed, Comcast/Xfinity, Competition, Consumer News 6 Comments
Could a speedtest like this be in your future?

Could a speed test like this be in your future?

Comcast is entering the gigabit broadband business and is guaranteeing customers willing to pay for the experience will not be subjected to a usage cap.

Comcast’s Gigabit Pro will arrive next month in select Atlanta neighborhoods located within one-third of a mile of Comcast’s fiber backbone network in the city. Promising 2,000/2,000Mbps unlimited fiber-to-the-home service (at a yet to be disclosed price), Comcast hopes to upstage Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse with GigaPower which are both working to upgrade Atlanta to 1,000Mbps service.

“We’ll first offer this service in Atlanta and roll it out in additional cities soon with the goal to have it available across the country and available to about 18 million homes by the end of the year,” said Marcien Jenckes, executive vice president of consumer services for Comcast. “Gigabit Pro is a professional-grade residential fiber-to-the-home solution that leverages our fiber network to deliver 2Gbps upload and download speeds. We’ve spent a decade building a national fiber backbone across 145,000 route miles of fiber. This new service will be available to customers that are within close proximity to our fiber network.”

Comcast says it will price Gigabit Pro below the cost of its current Extreme 505 (505/100Mbps) service, which costs $399.95 a month, not including the $250 technology activation fee, $250 installation fee, and three-year contract with up to a $1,000 early cancellation penalty. It seems unlikely Comcast’s price for 2Gbps will hover near Google and AT&T’s usual $70 fee for 1Gbps service. Comcast has to bring fiber from its nearest fiber node to a customer’s home and install commercial-grade equipment capable of handling 2Gbps. Existing Extreme 505 customers will be upgraded to 2Gbps for no additional charge.

Comcast-LogoComcast officials have repeatedly stressed its 2Gbps tier will be exempt from usage caps, which makes it the only unlimited residential broadband offering available to Comcast customers in Atlanta. Other residential customers are now subjected to a 300GB usage cap with $10/50GB overlimit fee.

Marketing Comcast’s 2Gbps offering may prove tricky because potential customers must live close to pre-existing Comcast fiber. If you don’t qualify, Comcast won’t pay to bring fiber infrastructure your way. Those outside of the fiber service area will continue to be serviced by standard coaxial cable. Comcast will wait for DOCSIS 3.1 to be officially available before deploying more speed upgrades in 2016. It promises to boost speeds up to at least 1Gbps if demand warrants.

The sudden announcement Comcast was willing to ditch part of its HFC coax network in favor of fiber, almost unprecedented for a major cable operator, and boost speeds beyond a gigabit may also be used to boost its chances of winning approval of its merger deal with Time Warner Cable. TWC Maxx, Time Warner’s own speed upgrade effort, only raises Internet speeds to a maximum of 300Mbps. Comcast had promised to upgrade Time Warner Cable customers’ speeds as part of the merger, but TWC Maxx offered most customers better speeds than what Comcast offered most of its residential customers.

Article was updated to correct the upload speed for the 505Mbps Comcast tier. It is now evidently 100Mbps, up from 65Mbps.

Currently there are 6 comments on this Article:

  1. Ian L says:

    “Only” 300 Mbps? Don’t sell TWC Maxx too short…upload speeds could be better, but 300M is 2x what Comcast sells now for anything under $400/mo.

    Also, the 505 tier is 100M up; 65M was their old 305 tier, which was $300 when it came out.

    Lastly, you can get uncapped internet (business class cable) for way less than $400 per month. $250 gets you 150/20, $200 gets you 100/20, and on down from there (75/15 for $150, 50/10 for $110, 16/3 for $70). Significantly more expensive than residential tiers at the same speeds, but it does provide an outlet for folks wanting uncapped right now. And those rates are a bit better than what TWC charges for business class in Maxx areas (though residential users never need to fool with it because residential is uncapped).

    • I agree TWC Maxx offers customers a much better deal and was a central argument in my testimony to the PSC.

      I will update the upload speeds, The info I had came from 2/2014. I made a decision to confine reporting to residential service. I am aware Comcast Business Class offers a way out of usage caps.

  2. djdhdb says:

    Problem is this won’t be competitive at all with Google Fiber in the area. Sure 2 gigabit is nice but when the price is several times more than 1gigabit it just isn’t competitive. What we need more than anything is the End to all Usage Caps cause those are pointless nowadays even with wireless.

  3. AC says:

    Note the term: “Up to” so they can skate their promises by saying “this is what we actually meant” much like the telecos,

  4. Eufemia Deemer says:

    Savvy comments . I am thankful for the information ! Does anyone know if my company might be able to find a fillable OPM OF-306 document to edit ?

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