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Summary:

[qi:020] Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S., is going to boost its consumer broadband speeds — in some cases, doubling them — without raising the price, according to DSL Reports. The new offerings are likely to be made available in a few weeks. I’m […]

[qi:020] Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S., is going to boost its consumer broadband speeds — in some cases, doubling them — without raising the price, according to DSL Reports. The new offerings are likely to be made available in a few weeks. I’m not using Comcast anymore, but if you’re a customer and are willing to put up with their metered broadband philosophy, you might find this information useful.

  • Performance: 6/1 Mbps will now get 12/2 Mbps for $42.95 a month.
  • Performance: 8/2 Mbps will get 16/2 for $52.95 a month.
  • Economy: Unchanged at $24.95 for 768 kbps down/384 kbps up.
  • Ultra: 22/5 Mbps for $62.95 a month. (Will update to 30/5 Mbps.)
  • Extreme Fifty: 50/10 Mbps for $139.95

The last two tiers would require $3-a-month rental fee for a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. These speed boosts come at a time when Comcast is facing increased competition from Verizon’s FiOS offerings. Given that the company is transitioning to metered broadband, one has to ask about the motivations behind this speed boost.

If you ask me, the answer seems pretty obvious: Higher speeds means that better quality, which means people would quickly consume their monthly quotas and get hit by overage fees.

  1. Comcast doesn’t charge overage fees, do they?

  2. They have started to inform their customers about the bandwidth caps and overage fees are coming soon, it seems.

  3. overage fees == kthxbye

  4. This is the first good news that I’ve heard about Comcast (didn’t use Comcrap this time) since I became one of their customers.

    Hopefully this will apply to my area.

  5. I keep track of developments on Broadband Reports and also subscribe to Comcasts 6/1 service. I’ve heard about the 250 GB limit but nothing about overages. Perhaps you’re confusing Comcast with TWC (which has been discussing very low caps with overages).

    According to Broadband Reports, people who exceed the cap get warning letters and may get their service cut off if it happens too much; it’s a replacement for their previously nebulous “You’re-downloading-too-much-but-we-won’t-tell-you-how-much-to-restrict-your-usage” policy.

  6. @Geoff,

    thanks for the elaborate comment. No I am not confusing Comcast with TWC, though they are cut from the same cloth.

    One has to work on an assumption – a reasonable one according to folks who are familiar with Comcast’s plans — that overage fees are going to come soon. Comcast is trying to do PR dance around this issue.

  7. Comcast generally runs me faster than the package I pay for. One of the benefits I guess of living in a community that’s really not too hip. I can only pick up 2 other wifi networks from my house – outside of the 2 we run here.

    Since they’ve notified us of throttling futures, they’ve reined in speeds in-state; but, speeds out to the left coast or TX appear to be staying nice and high [16-22mbps]. What they have scared me with is an announcement over the weekend of their “new and improved” email service.

    Though I’ve long ago switched over to gmail for anything important or relevant to my life, a certain number of legacy contacts in my life depend on that old Comcast email address. I really hope they don’t screw it up too badly.

  8. What’s the point in getting Extreme 50? You’ll hit the metering cap in about 12 hours.

    I had FIOS 20Mb service and downgraded. Hardly any sites will send things to you at 20Mb. I can’t tell the difference between FIOS 20Mb and 10mb. It’s not a Verizon problem, it appears that most servers are throttled.

  9. if the motivation is to get people to hit the quota’s than why not give everyone 50 Mb?

  10. Dameon Welch-Abernathy Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Om, I am a little concerned you are referring to overage fees coming without providing some source for that information. I guess one is to imply an anonymous source by your statement.

    While I know it’s subject to change, Comcast has been pretty consistently saying how they really aren’t changing any of their previous practices except they are now being explicit about what the limits are. Using more than 250gb doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a letter from them about too much usage.

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