Comcast To Double Internet Speeds - InformationWeek

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10/23/2008
03:10 PM
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Comcast To Double Internet Speeds

The cable and Internet service provider's wideband technology is designed to deliver ultrafast upload and download performance.

Comcast will double Internet speeds for most of its high-speed Internet customers, while also offering higher-speed tiers to nearly 10 million homes and businesses.

The company said Wednesday that its launch of next-generation DOCSIS 3.0 will allow it to offer "wideband" through an Extreme 50 tier (up to 50 Mbps downstream and up to 10 Mbps upstream) and double speeds for most of its existing customers at no additional charge.

"Wideband is a game-changer for the industry," Mitch Bowling, senior VP and general manager of Comcast Online Services, said in a statement. "With wideband running over our next-generation fiber-optic network, we can greatly enhance our customers' online experience immediately. And these speeds are only a preview of what's to come -- wideband will provide the capability of delivering dramatically faster speeds in excess of 160 Mbps in the future."

Bowling said that the improvement falls under the company's goal of delivering faster speeds to more customers than any other Internet service provider in the United States.

The higher-speed services will be available in parts of New England, including the Boston area, southern New Hampshire, parts of Philadelphia, and New Jersey, as well as the Twin Cities, where Comcast launched wideband earlier this year. Comcast said that it would expand access to reach more than 10 major markets in the next several months.

The Extreme 50 tier will be priced at $139.95 per month, while an Ultra tier will cost $62.95 a month and offer speeds up to 22 Mbps for downstream and 5 Mbps for upstream. With Extreme 50, customers can download a 6-GB high-definition movie in about 16 minutes or a standard 2-GB movie in about five minutes, Comcast said. A standard television show (300 MB) will download in just seconds.

Existing Performance tier customers will get speeds up to 12 Mbps for downloads and 2 Mbps for uploads, while Performance Plus users will get speeds up to 16 Mbps for downloads and 2 Mbps for uploads.

Comcast will also offer faster speeds for business customers through a Deluxe package with 50 Mbps and 10 Mbps for $189.95 per month. That includes additional features, such as Microsoft Communications Services, static IP addresses, and customer support. Existing business customers will receive free upgrades to 12 Mbps and 2 Mbps, double their current speeds. Premier Tier members can receive 22 Mbps and 5 Mbps for $99.95 per month.

Internet service packages and pricing are contingent on customers maintaining Comcast cable subscriptions.

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