Comcast to Boost Speed for 'Net Service at Home
Updated: Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2005 - 7:09 AM
By DEBORAH YAO
AP Business Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Comcast Corp. plans to increase the speed of its residential high-speed Internet service by as much as 100 percent.
The nation's largest cable operator will begin offering residential customers two new faster download speeds _ 6 megabits per second and 8 megabits per second _ this summer.
A user with an 8 Mbps connection _ double Comcast's current speed _ could download a four-megabyte file, a typical size for a music file, in four seconds.
The new speeds will take effect as early as July 20 for customers in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. For most of its other markets, the accelerated speeds will be available by the end of summer. The Philadelphia-based company serves 7.4 million high-speed Internet customers in 35 states and the District of Columbia.
Comcast subscribers automatically will be upgraded to 6 Mbps for free, as long as they also are cable customers. Those who want to get the fastest connection will have to pay $10 more a month.
For customers who subscribe to high-speed Internet service, but not cable TV, Comcast will charge $10 more per month for the 6 Mbps service and $20 more per month for the 8 Mbps service. Customers can stay at the current speed if they wish, the company said.
The faster speeds make it easier for users to stream video, audio and download games over the Internet. Consumers also can more easily upload photos and share picture slideshows with music.
Comcast said it has boosted downstream speeds by more than 400 percent in less than two years, going from 1.5 Mbps to 8 Mbps.
Blair Levin, telecom analyst for Legg Mason, said consumers can expect to see more companies with different levels of broadband service at different prices. Some people will opt to pay less for a slower speed while others don't mind shelling out more money for faster connections, Levin said.
Sweet...free upgrade to 6 and 10/month more for 8.