Comcast To Roll Out Faster Broadband
The service's main advantage over current broadband is speed. The next-generation broadband allows for speeds of up to 50 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream. Comcast currently offers Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.0 to about 30% of its network. By the end of this year, that figure is expected to increase to 65%. The fastest service will cost around $140 a month, Comcast said.
The company will still cap residential use at 250 GB per month, said spokesman Charlie Douglas. "Just because you have a faster speed doesn't mean you'll consume more," he said.
Derek Turner, research director at broadband advocacy group Free Press, welcomed news of the upgrades, but disputed Comcast's assertion that consumption would not increase. "You can imagine a typical home with mom and dad and three kids, and the kids are twittering away while also watching YouTube videos, and dad is on ESPN360, and mom is doing a live video chat with relatives across the country," he said. Without the additional bandwidth, just one of those activities might have been enough to saturate the family's network.
"The trend in bandwidth consumption is always up and to the right," he said. "As speed gets faster, people consume more."