Comcast set to double broadband speeds

by on October 21, 2008 · 34 comments

Major speed enhancements are rumored to be coming soon from Comcast, which has been spending serious cash to upgrade its network to the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. Customers in many markets who now pay $42.95 a month for 6mbps/1mbps service will be upgraded to 12/2 — a doubling of both upstream and downstream speeds — with no corresponding price increase. This follows Comcast’s pattern of enhancing speeds without hiking prices. And the price point of the standard tier has remained unchanged in nominal terms for several years, so when you factor in inflation, it’s fair to say Comcast has actually been dropping prices.

It’s amazing to consider how broadband speeds have evolved in a relatively short period of time. Comcast’s highest tier was a mere 4mbps/384kbps just four years ago, when DSL speeds typically topped out at 3/768. For consumers who live in a competitive ISP market, DSL now offers 20/1, Fiber offers 30/5, and Cable will soon offer 22/5. All of these tiers are priced under $100 per month.

Though we may not be amidst a “price war” among ISPs per se, as Mike Masnick recently argued, there is simply no denying that price per megabit is declining rapidly. This is all thanks to competition, of course, which has pushed providers to invest in newer technologies that allow for faster broadband connectivity.

Market skeptics will assuredly respond to my optimism by pointing out that so long as Comcast sticks with its 250GB monthly usage cap, consumers are really just getting the same service with shinier packaging. Yet that fact hardly means we should scoff at Comcast’s new performance tiers.

As I’ve discussed on several occasions, I churn through a lot of file transfers each month, so I’m all for Comcast raising its cap (or, alternatively, implementing reasonable overage fees). But even with Comcast’s fairly generous limits, who isn’t ecstatic about being able to download any file in half as much time as before? Caps will surely evolve over time as demand for 1080p content delivered over the Internet grows, but for now, speed is a bigger concern than usage for most consumers.

  • http://www.cordblomquist.com cordblomquist

    I just got Comcast cable Internet service at my house and they did not notify me of a speed upgrade. Now I get to study these guys firsthand, we'll have to see how the transition goes…

  • Greg

    Why does comcast cable only offer a mear 6/1 now and 12/2 in the future? Cablevision's Optimum Online has a standard of 15/2 and 30/5 as an upgrade for $10 a month…it has had this for a long time.

  • Ryan Radia

    Cablevision is on the cutting edge of speed as far as cable broadband goes. In large part, this is because Cablevision, unlike many other cable companies, didn't skip DOCSIS 2.0. They upgraded their network in 2006 and have since offered speeds that are on par even with FiOS.

    However, it's important to note that Cablevision is behind Comcast with regards to DOCSIS 3.0-based service. Comcast already matches 50mbps service in DOCSIS 3.0 areas, and reports suggest speeds may hit 100mbps as soon as next year in some markets.

  • Nakia J Bryden

    great article!, grats for u site :)

  • http://addurl.flashh.in Deepak

    With Baby Bell local phone providers making inroads with cheaper but slower DSL service, Comcast and other cable companies hope to fight on speed rather than price. Comcast's faster service, added at no extra cost to customers, will begin rolling out this quarter

  • http://add-blogbanner.blogspot.com pramodh

    Comcast is experimenting with a new WiFi service that would allow its home Internet subscribers to access certain WiFi hotspots on the go. Speeds would be about 1.5 Mbps, comparable to a home DSL connection. Comcast said the WiFi trial is separate from its mobile wireless joint venture with Clearwire and other companies using WiMax technology.

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  • http://www.talktalk.co.uk/products/broadband Broadband

    I can't agree more,comcast internet is great but with very poor customer service,one could be mislead.

  • venkat2009

    I Having the Broadband Connection in My Home.I use the site http://www.ip-details.com/for the Speed Test Of My Broadband Connection

  • venkat2009

    I Having the Broadband Connection in My Home.I use the site http://www.ip-details.com/for the Speed Test Of My Broadband Connection

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