January 16, 2005 9:00 PM PST

Comcast to raise broadband speed

Comcast will raise its broadband Internet speeds by at least a third later this year--part of its effort to fend off DSL rivals.

With Baby Bell local phone providers making inroads with cheaper but slower DSL service, Comcast and other cable companies hope to fight on speed rather than price. Comcast's faster service, added at no extra cost to customers, will begin rolling out this quarter, the company announced on Sunday.

As previously reported, the nation's largest cable and broadband provider's current download speed of up to 3mbps (megabits per second) will jump to 4mbps. Upload rates of 256kbps (kilobits per second) will reach 384kbps, the company said. Customers of Comcast's more expensive 4mbps service will see a 50 percent increase to 6mbps downstream and 768kbps upstream.

"Although I've seen apparent increases from Comcast over the last year, I wasn't sure if I was getting what I should. A little research at Comcast showed that their supplied modem was no longer supported, although it could still be used.

I've now bought a new compliant modem (not through Comcast) and have already seen a significant speed increase. I suggest that anyone with speed concerns check out the cable modem they are using and see if it is a currently supported one. Just go to comcast.com and search the FAQs for cable modem."
--Jim Lytle

Speed has been of the essence to the nation's major cable providers. Time Warner Cable said in December that it would raise its basic download speed to 5mbps from 3mbps. Months earlier, Cox Communications said it would raise its speed limit from 3mbps to 4mbps. Faster speeds may help justify cable subscriptions that average $45 a month when the Bells sell DSL--which typically clocks in at 1.5mbps--for as low as $26.95 a month.

Broadband has become the central battleground between cable and the Bells. So far, the Bells lag in overall broadband market share, with about 40 percent to cable's 60 percent. Comcast remains the largest broadband provider with 6.5 million subscribers. In the intense fight for one another's customers, each side is packaging other services, such as video and voice, into its broadband bundles.

Comcast, for example, recently announced plans to sell phone service over Internet lines--voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP--a step into the Bells' territory.

As it has hiked speeds, Comcast has been giving customers more to do with that bandwidth. Its Comcast.net home page has become more of a media portal, with emphasis on higher-bandwidth services such as video news clips, on-demand video games, a flashier interface and more personalization tools.

Last year, Comcast began letting subscribers send 45-second video clips, or up to 10 digital photos with audio narration, in their e-mail messages. To promote these features, the company sent coupons for free Web cams to new subscribers and offered discounts to existing customers.

Comcast this year is expected to introduce more of these higher-bandwidth services. Earlier this week, the company said it will launch its own instant messenger service, which will support live video streaming over Web cams. Instant messaging is one of the most popular applications on the Internet, but it is dominated by America Online, MSN and Yahoo.

Comcast said it will also expand its online music service, refurbish parts of its home page and improve its various content channels, such as fantasy sports, kids and gaming.

16 comments

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Not entirely "DSL" accurate
From my own experience - I currently pay for this DSL service - the price in the story for DSL is inaccurate. The low-end is actually around $19.99 for 1.5 Mbps and $26.95 for 3 Mbps. I currently use SBC's 3 Mbps for $26.95 and average download speeds of between 2.5 and 2.9 Mbps.
Posted by mouseclick (113 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DSL & SBC
For all of you that have DSL, and use the "PRO" package that SBC offers, check the speeds of it. I receiently switched from DSL to Cable (comcast) because SBC puts a cap of 2Mb on accounts even tho they advertise upto 3Mb/sec.

Now I have comcast in California, and I am seeing download speeds of 5.5Mb/sec or better. sometimes over 6Mb/s and upload speeds of 786Kb/s which I would have NEVER seen with SBC.
Posted by sm0ke (1 comment )
Link Flag
Comcast is going to start losing business
Ill tell you what. This is going to end up costing comcast business. The second i hear that verizon dsl is available in my area, bye bye comcast. whats the point of upping my speed to 4mbps when i cant even get close to getting 3mbps i pay for right now. i want lower prices, not higher speeds that i can never obtain. and for 43 bucks a month vs 30 bucks a month, well, ill save myself the additional $150 a year. and what do you think comcast is going to do when they up your speed? there not going to raise rates on internet access, but you will probably see in an increase in you cable bill. comcast are a bunch of slimeballs.
Posted by 203129769353146603573853850462 (97 comments )
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Other thoughts.
Time Warner technically upped their speed, but I didn't see much boost where I'm at. If I can get a more modest boost and always know I'm getting the speed, that would make it worth it to me. My want and need for more bandwidth is growing, but I still don't like paying the price for broadband.

My hope is that Verizon does push FIOS into Ohio and force Time Warner to lower costs. I expect it will happen one way or the other. We may be a few years removed from it happening, but I think real competition is coming to broadband.

NWLB
nwlb.blogspot.com
Posted by NWLB (326 comments )
Link Flag
About Comcast
I saw an early story last week about Comcast increasing their speed. Although I've seen apparent increases over the last year, I wasn't sure if I was getting what I should. A little research at Comcast showed that their supplied modem was no longer supported although it could still be used. I've now bought a new compliant modem (not through Comcast) and have already seen a significant speed increase. I suggest that anyone with speed concerns check out the cable modem they are using and see if it a currently supported one. Just go to comcast.com and search the FAQs for cable modem.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Comcast also REDUCING services
CNET should do a story about Comcast also reducing services.

A large number of "legacy" Comcast customers - those who were customers of a company that Comcast had bought (for example, ATTBI) have had unlimited access to their Usenet (news) servers. However, at about the beginning of this year, Comcast has shut off access to its servers and instead contracted with Giganews to supply news service. The kicker is that Comcast is capping access at 2GB per month - which some Comcast customers can use up in well under a day.

In addition, Comcast has not supplied any way for customers to check how much of their quota they've used. Also, for a customer to log into Giganews to access the newsgroups, he/she has to supply his primary Comcast account username and password which gets sent IN PLAIN TEXT over the Internet to Giganews.

For this reduction in services, Comcast has reduced subscribers' bills by $0.00.
Posted by poster48150 (167 comments )
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3 Mbps? Its A LIE!
I recently had Comcast Internet service and my speed tested as approx. 1 Mbps. I called Customer Support to ask about the 3 Mbps. They sent a "tech" to my house. The "tech" told me (and showed me) that you have to install an "Internet Accelerator" to get the 3 Mbps. In other words, they use COMPRESSION to "simulate" 3 Mbps instead of actually DELIVERING 3 Mbps. Even WORSE, the "Internet Accelerator" the "tech" installed contained spyware. I had to reinstall Windows to get rid of it!
Posted by (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Upload bogdown
Why the continuation of such ridiculously slow upload speeds from Comcast?! Do they realize how long it takes to upload photos using their service? Do they realize that their customers actually share files? Why do Comcast customers put up with the sham?
Posted by jacobianmatrix (3 comments )
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ex cable subscriber
I went broadband when @home now comcast first moved into the city L live. i was one of the first to get wired, in the first of 2 areas of town to get hooked up. boy was I a LPB back then.... playing in a few of the first online multiplayer games I thought I was the Shizwhatever ...for a while that is. for the first 8- 10 months it was great,till more and more got connected around me.. it sems that cable was run thru "nodes" at the time and "gasp" the more activity on your node the slower everyone got. I got to be frigin insanely slow and I was losing packets like crazy.

I went DSL and havent looked back. downtimes have just about gone away.. if it happens it normally is short and few and far between. I cant speak for the state of cable near me now. but I think Ill stay with maybe a little slower thru-put and pay a crpa load less for my troubles.. most of my lag aint from my side anyway. the only thing i would really like is a quicker upload just for response times for my client side input for gaming online. it aint worth $20 more bucks a mounth to me yet..

I would like to see a few real world speed tests from local subscibers of this new upgrade though..
Posted by (1 comment )
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losing packets like crazy
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/vacuum/miele_s938_art_true_blue.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/vacuum/miele_s938_art_true_blue.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
It doesn't matter how fast, it is still inferior to DSL
Until cable stops making you share bandwidth with your neighbor, cable will never be any good.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
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Dont get comcast!!! They lie
I am Network Tech. recently I sign up for VOIP phone service. I have Comcast for past two weeks and I notice that the speed is not 4mb at all and upload is not 384, I download and upload Allot of stuff so I test the connection speed online with few websites and with few softwares that I use at my work. The top speed that I ever gotten was 1105 Kbps and that was at night 2am, and upload was 202 Kpbs. I call them up and told them I am not receiving 4mb (4000 kbps) I am getting only around 750-1100 Kbps and I have tested the connection different times of the day and with couple of different utilities. They said you really cant relied on websites they all use different speed and their servers could be slow or u never know how their tests are based. I told them I use my own software to run the tests too and still same thing. So I told him why dont u test my connection for me then he said they cant really do that?? and everything in my cable modem seems to be ok so theirs nothing really they can do but if I UPGRADE my plan for 10$ more I will get 6mb download and 764 upload, so told them I am Suppose to be getting 4mb now and I only get 1100kbps with 384kpbs I dont get anything over 200kbps will I Really get 6MB??? Anyway just be careful when u sign up for Comcast and test your connection to see if u are getting what u are paying for.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Companies don't lie
Please listen to companies advertising no porvider of broadband connections guarantee speeds it is advertised as up to 4, 6 or 10 mbps no guarantees.
Posted by jebbj19 (29 comments )
Link Flag
They may up speeds, but you can't actually use it!
Why do they bother increasing speed and advertising huge speed increases when they won't actually let you use it!?!?!?

I received a phonecall from the Comcast abuse department claiming I was using too much bandwidth. He said my account used X amount of GBs (number is irrelevant) in March, which is x times the average user and I would need to "reduce my usage considerably."

When I asked how much is too much, he said he couldn't give me a number. I asked if the service was unlimited and he said no, at which I asked what that limit was, he said he could not give me a number (ie. there is no set limit - therefore unlimited - which it is not - but there is a limit - which is not set....We talked at length going in circles about the arbitrary limits Comcast has set until he wasted enough of my time.)

So basically Comcast has set an arbitrary limit, to which I can't be given an actually amount, that if I go over (the amount I can't be told) I can be cut off ?!?!? Why can't Comcast just give me a number, why doesn't the policy state that number and why does that annoying "Comcastic" advertising not state the limits of the service?

I'm switching to DSL, and hope everyone else does!
Posted by jtardie (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Comcast is throttling my usage!
Comcast has been lowering my download speeds in direct proportion to my usage. Right now, I am sitting here timing by bandwidth speeds and watching my download time cut in half and then half again! I am #30 in the queue for the privaledge of complaining online to customer service with Comcast right now.
Posted by arpagenx (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
comcast is taking dns through a dead domain
comcast is taking dns through a dead domain
Today at 1-26-2008
I did a tracert on multiple domains.

google
youtube
msn
microsoft
and everything goes through level13.net and I see
that when i visited the website it proclaimed itself up for sale.
Posted by inachu (963 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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