March 28, 2006 3:04 PM PST

Comcast matches Verizon Fios speeds

Comcast is increasing the speed of its broadband service in what looks like an attempt to keep pace with Verizon Communications' Fios service.

On Tuesday, the nation's largest cable operator confirmed it has doubled download speeds of its fastest broadband service in four cities: Reston, Va.; Sarasota, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Howard County, Md.

Comcast is automatically upgrading customers of its premiere broadband service to 16mbps (megabits per second) for downloads and 1mbps for uploads at a cost of $52.95 per month. Previously, Comcast had offered customers in these cities speeds of 8mbps downstream and 768kbps (kilobits per second) upstream for $52.95 per month.

The cities selected for the initial upgrade also happen to be those where Verizon Communications is offering its fiber to the home service, called Fios.

Verizon representatives said that Comcast's move to increase speeds is an attempt to match the Fios service.

"It's a reaction to Fios," said Bobbi Henson, a spokeswoman for Verizon. "Comcast sees the success we have been having, and they are trying to catch up."

Verizon's lowest tier of Fios service offers download speeds of up to 5mbps, with upload speeds of 2mbps for $39.95. For $49.95, consumers can get download speeds up to 15mbps with uploads of 2mbps, and for $199.95, customers can download at 30mbps and upload at 5mbps.

Comcast denies that it is raising speeds to compete with Verizon's Fios service. Instead, the company said it increased download speeds to test new applications it plans to offer its broadband customers.

"We chose to test this new high-speed service in markets that are competitive and where we know we have a high level of broadband penetration," said Jeanne Russo, a company spokeswoman. "Reston, Va., was one of the first places where we offered broadband service, and we have 70 percent market penetration there."

Last year, other cable companies introduced higher-speed services in Fios territory. Cox Communications boosted speeds in its Northern Virginia territory to 15mbps, and Adelphia Communications announced that it is raising speeds to 16mbps to residents in Leesburg, Va.

Verizon is becoming much more of a threat to cable companies in regions of the country where it has built its Fios network. Not only is Verizon able to offer very high-speed broadband, but it can offer a package that also includes TV service.

See more CNET content tagged:
broadband service, Comcast Corp., Verizon Communications, broadband, cable company

36 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Lucky them
It's nice to see that they are increasing speeds instead of areas of service. I can't even get broadband where I live and I live 12 miles from the Microsoft campus (Redmond, WA) We are so high tech here in Washington. I have two choices, Direcway (satellite) or dial up. I currently have Direcway and it is "slightly" better than dial up. Thanks for making life better for those who have more choices.
Posted by kookier (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
With a little prayer
help may be on the way. Direcway is planning on upgrading your service. Check the site regularly. (One of the main reasons is to lessen latency - gamers have been complaining)
Posted by Chevaliermusic (72 comments )
Link Flag
Hear! Hear!
I have the same comment, instead of offering big money breaks and increasing speed they could offer COVERAGE! I may not be next to New York City or Boston (in-between in Connecticut) but an ex-coworker who lives on the other side of a hill from me has DSL and still not in my location?!

When I've called them (SBC, now AT&T) and I've been told "first quarter of next year" (as in first quarter 2002 or 2003) or that they are starting along the coast (New Haven) and are working up into our region (then why do some already HAVE it?!)

It's a load of crock!
Posted by dragonbite (452 comments )
Link Flag
speed
The real question that needs answering is Why isn't Comcast
raising it speeds in places where FIOS isn't offering services?
Posted by nerantzis (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re: speed
They're not even being consistent. FIOS is available in my city (but not my neighbrhood, yet)but Comcast isn't increasing it's speed here.
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Link Flag
AT&T will start spanking Comcast too :)
Because AT&T (was SBC) has been lax in their fiber deployments
to
the home in IL for instance... Once they get their proverbial act
together, they too will start spanking Comcast ;-)

-----
Standing Ovations for
AARON RUSSO's new movie!
America
FROM FREEDOM TO FASCISM


VIEW THE TRAILER:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://freedomtofascism.com" target="_newWindow">http://freedomtofascism.com</a>

General Release this summer, pre-screenings nationwide now!
Posted by libertyforall1776 (650 comments )
Link Flag
loss of speed
The cable companies dont upgrade their speeds other than where Fios is because a cable system is an open network. The more bandwidth that is given the less stable their network gets. Its unstable already. If you have it youll notice that in heavy online times the speeds dramaticly decrease. You can et speeds less then 1.0, but they say they give 15.0. And if you have their phone package forget about it. If your speed drops you'll be droping calls. Simply put they wont increase speeds because they dont need nore problems then they already have. The truth is the cable companies are scared of Verizon and their Fios system. I've seen the Fios TV and the picture seems to jump off the screen and thats not talking about the HD channels, but well talk about that at another time.
Posted by jace917 (1 comment )
Link Flag
When will Time Warner Cable get competitive
Time Warner Cable is lagging in performance. It is only a matter of time that some company displaces TWC in the broadband arena.
Posted by Drewzilla (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They need to boost upload speeds
nt
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What about standard customers..
Any speed boost for them? 6 mbps down its more than enough, I need more upload! 384 kbps upload is killing me in 64 player BF2 servers.
Posted by wazzledoozle (288 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Comcast raised uploads on 6Mbps service
In the four cities mentioned in the story, Comcast customers subscribing to the 6mbps service will get an automatic upgrade of their upload speed to 768kbps from 384kbps. The download speed will remain the same.
Posted by MaggieReardon (140 comments )
Link Flag
You have to have the premium cable packages to get the speeds
Customers that already had the 8 Mbits download were bumped up
to 16. In order to have the 8 Mbit to begin with you had to have a
premium cable service also. Another consideration here is with
cable you share your bandwidth with your neighbors, not so with
FIOS...... since I've switched to FIOS, I get a consistent 15 mbit
download and 2 Mbit upload. With comcast I never got the speed
that they said I would get. It was always below the rated speed.
Posted by Tiger1964 (28 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Must be nice
Verizon says I'm in a sbc err att controlled area and they will never show up here. Comcast, yeah they say 5mb down, yeah right..

I'm Jealous..

~FR
Posted by failedreality (1 comment )
Link Flag
Response
That's a fine line to say that you share your connection with your neighbors.

Technically so do DSL / Fios users. Their connections just come together slightly further down the line.

So, do you want the bottleneck (which, in Tacoma, I always get my full 8000/768 service) right away or do you just want it all crammed together at once? It's all about the same in the end.
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Link Flag
Not really a match...
I agree with Tiger1964's comment: I've FIOS and I too, have a consistent 15Mbs download (and 2Mbps up). When I had (cough) Comcast, I was not a premium subscriber and I was lucky to get 3-4Mbps.
Note that even though Comcast advertises 16Mps Download (1Mbps or 768Kbps up), once your neighbor's kids get home from school, and also your neighbors, the shared pipe drops. I doubt Comcast can guarantee anything except a rate increase. $50+ for analog basic cable!!! Ripoff...
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
Link Flag
not true
u can get the 8meg service with a the basic cable service.
Posted by deeper2dive (1 comment )
Link Flag
Damn whiners...
I want FIOS. I have bell"screw you in the arse"south. I pay 62 dollars a month for 1.5mbs. I WANT FIOS!!!!!
Posted by baggyguy1218 (155 comments )
Reply Link Flag
LOL, so did I
and when you finally get it, you will be amazed! I've had it for a
few months now here and I love it. The best part is, I don't have to
have cable TV to get faster internet. Who really needs 200 or so
channels with nothing but garbage on.
Posted by Tiger1964 (28 comments )
Link Flag
I have Comcrap
and though the speed is ok (6 mb) the service sucks - for example: they just started supporting macs. I personally trained atleast 4 of their guys. And they actually had the nerve to call me to do a survey (I blasted them). They bump up the speed rather than lowering the price. Something about this practice reminds me of oil companies.
Posted by Chevaliermusic (72 comments )
Link Flag
FIOS Competition
I have FIOS at home, it works very well. I like not having the actual modem, FIOS connects directly to the router. FIOS is also very stable, it has never gone out on me in almost a year of service. I recomend it for anyone who can get it.
Posted by zduchene (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Still Love OOL
Cablevision's Optimum Online already is 15/2 standard. Premium (Boost) is 30/5 and offering 50 soon. Other Cable Networks still trying to catch up. haha.
Posted by BlinkMM182 (63 comments )
Reply Link Flag
max out my cable modem!
30mbps sustainable (yeah right!)

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://broadband.motorola.com/modem/sb5100.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://broadband.motorola.com/modem/sb5100.pdf</a>
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Comcast is going to get spanked
Once Verizon's new video over fiber initiative gets into full-swing,
Comcast is really in for a spanking -- Verizon will have probably
the best deliver system with amazing flexibility... Motorola is
helping them implement their system, which has never been done
before. Sure, it will have its hickups, but THIS is what VoIP was to
Telephony!

The future will be exciting!
Posted by libertyforall1776 (650 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Do I live on a freakin plantation?
Why does my lawn require 30 man hours a week 7 months out of the year? It's just shrubs and grass. I eat vegetables and not animals. Three cats sit around all day eating cans of animals and putting hair on my clothes. My ideals are being minimalized and mocked. My work will be disparaging without a goat and a burlap sack. Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Posted by vampares (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's to Competition!
Bravo to Verizon for finally providing some serious competition to the cable companies who have been providing shoddy service and reliability at slow speeds for too long. FIOS is the technology of the future with its capability to provide great new content in a reliable and speedy manner (including live tv). I am personally excited and hope that it will expand into other contested markets such as New Jersey where the cablecos are putting up a real fight. Good luck to Verizon and the people of New Jersey.
Posted by acarey1 (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agreed!
Amazing what a little competition will do for everybody, eh? FiOS is gonna be huge and it's kind of funny but also kind of satisfying to see Comcast react in this way. No wonder cable interests in NJ don't want FiOS - they'll be in big trouble when it gets there! Let's hope the folks in NJ speak up and make another dent in the cable monopoly.
Posted by paulaner01 (5 comments )
Link Flag
Comcast Open the Faucet wide open!
Abilene Network {Internet 2} upgrade now running at 10 Gbps!
That should be enough to download a movie, voip and surf the
intraweb. :)
Posted by BentonBear (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Speed is Nothing Without Reliability
I'm getting ready to switch from Comcast to Verizon FiOS. Twice in the past six months, I've had significant outages with Comcast. Yesterday, Internet service went down for more than 14 hours. The call center person said they'd have to send a technician to my home, but service "magically" resumed sometime this morning. It was obviously a network problem, but the call center had no way to determine that. Last fall, I lost service for nearly FIVE DAYS due to a network problem! I worry about people who switch their only residential phone service to Comcast VOIP. Verizon knows how to maintain a reliable PSTN (our telephone service has not been down due to network problems in YEARS), so I assume they're just as skilled at maintaining a reliable fiber data network.
Posted by jf6816 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
all that horsepower and no room to gallop
As far as bandwith is concerned, FIOS is just like any other service. When data is transferred to you, the sources you retrieve from has "x" amount of upload just as you so even if you had FIOS, you're still capped because the server you're downloading from has an upload speed that can't support your download speed. More bandwith compared to existing services just helps you download/upload more data at the same time with other sources/destinations. Given that you download same time from download.com, you're download speed is still the same whether you have comcast or fios. Another thing about more bandwith is that is requires more performance from your machine so as anything else in this world of bandwith, data transfers can be impacted at any time. Only way you're going achieve FIOS's top speeds from a single connection is that the source has an upload speed faster/equivalent to your download speed and vice versa with upload. Why have all that power and no room to gallop if you're an average user. FIOS may only be good for those truely needing that kind of speed for their purposes. The average consumer doesn't truly even need to rely on faster bandwith. From there the hype and popularity will come down for FIOS once people realize that they don't need it once all that heavy dough out of their pockets starts adding up over time.
Posted by dyetheskin (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Verizon FIOS
It is true that the average user basically can not "see" the full speed they are getting. It is too fast for computers today. But the future possiblities of a single fiber optic strand is still unknown. We do know today that up to 16 voice lines, data connections and video can all run off of a single fiber optic strand (thinner than a piece of hair) without compromizing speed. That is what each house is being given. Like I said before, the full capacity is unknow at this time. There have been at least 5 different models of ONTs since the launch of the service. It just keeps improving. Different companies want to jump on the wagon and be the provider of choice for Verizon's equipment. Our computers will catch up quickly. You really can not have a computer for more than a few months before you look in the paper and see an even better one, CHEAPER. Some memory sticks hold more info than the basic PC. Also, its not just the speed and future opportunities, its competition. We all have been subject to the cable monopoly. Outrageous prices just for basic packages and lousy, untrained contracted technicians. Here in my area they own the ball fields and we can't even watch our own teams on tv unless we subscribe to their cable service. Or you can get satellite and lose service when a cloud floats by. Don't try and call them for trouble with the line. They will have you climbing up on your own roof! Verizon is investing billions into their entirely new network. Core company trained technicians are installing the service from the central offices to your computer. No other company is offering their customers anything even remotely close to what Verizon has in store for us. Their pricing is great and will just get better as soon as the video is available. Their standard video is better than hd cable. Wait until you see their HD on a plasma. AMAZING!
Posted by cligs (1 comment )
Link Flag
Hey CNET...report THIS
Verizon's FiOS Service is at 15mbps/2mbps right? Well it's uncapped. You can use as MUCH of that bandwidth as you want without them complaining. That could easily be 3-5TBs of data transfer per month. Comcast caps most of their users at 200GBs per month.

I got my Comcast cut for excessive usage when I hit 645GBs one month and then 400GBs the month after. I'm with Insight now and have used 1.3TBs of their 10mbps/1mbps connection in transfer with just 1 program alone. I'm probably closer to 2TBs of bandwidth used which I know is breaking their wallets.
Posted by CaptainMooseInc (69 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I have Verizon Fios in my area, it Rocks!!! I am currently getting broadband speeds of 20mbps download and 20mbps upload, yeah!! thats right 20mbps upload!!!. for about $60 a month. Its pure physics, cable dominated dsl for years, because of the larger bandwidth capabilities with coax cable over phone cable. now FIOS with fiber optic cable will wipe out the cable companies.
Posted by CesarTheGreat (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
It's funny that Comcast denies choosing the same cities as those where Fios is available for their increased bandwidth. Comcast's new "Comcast Town" ads directly call out Verizon, at one point the condescending singer hums "Fiber Optics Flabergasted"....hah, doubt it. I cant stand those ads.
I've never been a big fan of Comcast, I've had an overwhelmingly poor relationship with them ever since going to school at Temple in Philly. They were the only option for cable. Their service is Philly ruined the NFL season for my roommates and I. Our cable would go out completely for days at a time, and when on, it was spotty at best. Their customer service rep. suggested purchasing their "blah blah blah(digital star)" for 3.99/mo extra which would make sure our apartment could first be found and monitored on their grid. I knew at that point that this wasn't going to be easy but to get to the end of the story, it took a reasonable three months to fix, something about zoning laws in Philadelphia for digging up cable lines, the third guy that came fixed it without a shovel...
I decided that Comcast had likely been charging the arbitrary "Arlin Specter" fee of 3.99/mo to many Comcast customers, and that could add up depending on their business model. To their credit, I've noticed their bandwidth increase and its phenominal. I'm using Comcast now in Boston, my roomates had already chosen them when I moved in. Having just left an apartment that was wired with FIOS, I must say, Fios offers far better digital image quality, but the speed is on Comcast is no joke.
Posted by 5PinZ (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I am not a big fan of verizon Fios.
But I own the domain getfiostoday.com
Tried to become an affiliate with this great domain , which by the way is
their motto, and some hack in their marketing division never returned my calls.
So I am selling it. Make me an offer.
I think I will redirect it to The cox communications website
Posted by getfiostoday (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.