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Comcast Begins Rollout of Multi-Gig Broadband Services

Comcast
(Image credit: Comcast)

PHILADELPHIA—In a major development that will deliver much faster multi-gig internet speeds to consumers, Comcast has announced the nation’s largest multi-gig network and wifi deployment.

The move will bring symmetrical 10G multi gig speeds to consumers in the second half of 2023 and will provide multi-gig Internet speeds in more than 50 million U.S. homes and businesses before the end of 2025.

As part of the effort, Comcast is already starting to roll out multi-gig internet speeds around the country with download speeds of up to 2 gigs and is accelerating the transformation of its network to a virtualized cloud-based architecture that will be fully prepared for 10G and DOCSIS 4.0 services. 

“We’re making our network even smarter and faster, which allows us to quickly deliver true multi-gig Wi-Fi to tens of millions of businesses and residential consumers at an unprecedented pace,” said Charlie Herrin, president of technology, product, experience at Comcast Cable. “Whatever the application, whatever the future holds, our network and world-class, whole-home Wi-Fi experience will be there and ready to power all of our customers’ connected experiences.”

Under this initiative Comcast is:

  • Immediately rolling out download speeds up to 2 Gigs – combined with up to 5x-to-10x faster upload speeds – to millions of homes and businesses; available in 34 cities and towns before the end of 2022; more than 50 million homes and businesses by the end of 2025; and continuing throughout the entire network. Initial rollouts are already underway in Colorado Springs, CO; Augusta, GA; and Panama City Beach, FL, with more launched at a regular cadence through the end of the year.
  • For Xfinity customers: extending new multi-gigabit network speeds throughout the home with the multi-gig-capable Wi-Fi 6E Gateway, xFi connected home platform, and xFi Pod Wi-Fi extenders.
  • For Comcast Business customers: Delivering ultra-fast Wi-Fi speeds for businesses with a new multi-gig capable gateway.
  • Completing the core technical foundation for 10G, which will deliver multi-gig symmetrical speeds over the connections already installed in tens of millions of homes and businesses.
  • Finalizing transition to a cloud-based, virtualized network that enables faster speeds, greater reliability for customers, while also implementing a network architectural update that enables greater upload and download capacity.
  • Building multi-gig capabilities that can reach everyone connected to Comcast’s network, not just select neighborhoods and customers, just as Comcast has done with previous network improvements.
  • Improving energy efficiency, helping Comcast become carbon neutral by 2035.

In preparation for the rollout of faster network speeds, earlier this year Comcast launched its latest Wi-Fi 6E Gateway, one of the first in the world to support multi-gigabit symmetrical Wi-Fi. For business customers, Comcast Business also launched a new, ultra-advanced multi-gigabit gateway earlier this year.  

Comcast also reported that over the past several years, it has been transitioning to digital network technology – powered by a virtualized platform – that delivers greater reliability and increased performance. Rather than maintaining, updating, and replacing traditional analog network appliances by hand, which can take days or even weeks, this approach means that Comcast engineers can reliably maintain, troubleshoot, and upgrade core network components almost instantly, with a few keystrokes on a laptop or mobile app. This also makes the network much more energy efficient and is an important element of Comcast’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2035, the company said. 

The operator also noted that this upgrade to its entire network architecture, equipment, and customer devices, makes it uniquely positioned to deliver these advancements in speed, reliability, and performance to everyone it serves, not just a select few. 

Because much of this work is powered by software, these changes also can be made with far less disruption to customers than other technologies. 

Another key part of this upgrade is the transition to DOCSIS 4.0 and 10G. 

Using DOCSIS 4.0, 10G will deliver multi-gig symmetrical speeds to tens of millions of people over the connections already installed in their homes and businesses, without the need to dig up yards and neighborhoods, or pick and choose who gets faster speeds and who doesn’t, Comcast reported.

The technical updates included in the initiative announced today are a necessary precursor to Comcast’s 10G deployment.

As a result of this work on its network, Comcast plans to start launching 10G-enabled multi-gig symmetrical speeds to customers in the second half of 2023. That work will happen on a parallel path with the introduction of the faster speeds launching now. 

The upgrades build on tests of 10G technologies in the last two years, including several world firsts (opens in new tab). The company has conducted successful tests of all the technical components necessary to deliver 10G speeds to customers and is now looking forward to beginning live trials. 

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.