Google may have dropped plans to build out its Fiber service in the Bay Area, but local residents will soon have another option for super-fast Internet access thanks to Comcast.
The cable giant announced this week that it will ramp up consumer broadband speeds in the Bay Area to 1 gigabit per second early next year. The company did not give an exact date, but spokeswoman Jenny Gendron said Comcast would begin offering the service throughout its Bay Area territory all at once.
“The introduction of a new 1 Gig service in California is yet another reflection of our commitment to deliver the fastest speeds to the most homes,” Hank Fore, senior vice president of Comcast California region, said in a statement.
The company did not say how much it will charge for the new super-fast service. However, it’s charging $140 a month for the service in Detroit without a contract and about the same amount in other cities where it already offers it. It’s also offered the service at an introductory $70 a month price to customers who sign a three-year deal.
One thing may be different here than in other areas, though. Gendron said Comcast plans to apply the same 1 terabyte cap on monthly data usage on its gigabit service in the Bay Area that it recently started applying to its other broadband tiers here. Assuming gigabit customers were downloading data at the fastest speed possible, they would exceed that cap in less than two-and-a-half hours.
To put it another way, 1 terabyte of data would allow a customer to watch about 142 hours of 4K video from Netflix each month, or less than 5 hours a day.
Comcast is offering unlimited data to gigabit customers elsewhere, at least if they sign up for the three-year deal, according to tech blog Ars Technica.
Gendron declined to say how Comcast’s broadband offerings and prices will change once it launches its gigabit service. The company already offers a two-gigabit per second service here, but that’s targeted at corporate and professional customers. The fastest speed it currently offers local consumers is 250 megabits per second.
In order to get the new speeds, customers will need to have a modem that’s capable of transmitting data at 1 gigabit per second.
Comcast’s announcement comes less than a month after Google announced that it was suspending plans to build out its gigabit Google Fiber service in the South Bay. Previously the search giant had been planning to roll out that service to San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Palo Alto and Mountain View.
Some Bay Area customers already have a gigabit option. Google offers Fiber service in some areas of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville. Meanwhile, AT&T offers similar speeds through its GigaPower service in selected areas of San Francisco, San Jose and several other Bay Area cities.
With a gigabit connection, a consumer could download a high-definition movie in as little as 30 seconds.
Published at Thu, 03 Nov 2016 20:23:10 +0000