Comcast Deploys Wideband

Comcast announced this week that it is rolling out wideband Internet service, offering speeds of up to 50 Mbps in selected areas of the country.

Over the next few weeks the nation’s largest cable operator, plans to deploy DOCSIS 3.0, defined as “wideband” service to millions of residential homes and businesses in parts of New England, including the Boston metro area, including Southern New Hampshire, as well as areas of Philadelphia and New Jersey. These services will also be available in the the Minneapolis-St. Paul market where wideband was launched earlier this year. Comcast plans to continue to roll out wideband across its footprint and expects to reach more than 10 major markets and pass nearly 10 million homes and businesses in the next several months.

At 50 Mbps downstream, Comcast customers will be able to download a 6 GB hi-def movie in about 16 minutes, a 2 GB standard-def movie in about 5 minutes and a standard def TV show (300 MB) in a matter of seconds.

New residential tiers will include “Extreme 50,” offering up to 50 Mbps of downstream speed and up to 10 Mbps of upstream speed for $140/month; and “Ultra,” offering up to 22 Mbps of downstream speed and up to 5 Mbps of upstream speed at $63/month.

Comcast says its wideband service constitutes the fastest speeds available and that it plans to double speeds for the majority of its existing high-speed Internet customers at no additional cost. Those customers will see downstream speeds upped to 12 Mbps and upstream speeds increased to 2 Mbps. Performance Plus customers will be upgraded to Comcast’s Blast! Tier which will double their download speeds to up to 16 Mbps and provide up to 2 Mbps of upload speed.

Business customers will get a Deluxe 50 Mbps/10 Mbps tier for $190 per month, which also includes additional services and support. Existing business class customers will see their speeds upped at no cost: Speeds on the Starter tier will be doubled up to 12 Mbps/2Mbps and a new Premium Tier will also be introduced, offering speeds up to 22 Mbps/5 Mbps for $100 per month.

“Wideband is a game-changer for the industry. 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,” said Mitch Bowling, senior vice president and general manager, Comcast Online Services. “Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to offer more speed to more homes than any other U.S. Internet service provider.”