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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 3, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Comcast doubling Internet speeds in Puget Sound region, Spokane

It may not change the way people feel about Comcast, but the company is planning to double the speed of Internet service for most of its Puget Sound customers by the end of the year for no additional charge.

The speed boosts will be rolled out by the end of the year for “the vast majority” of its Xfinity Internet customers in the Puget Sound region and Spokane, according to spokesman Steve Kipp.

Comcast is facing more competition in the Seattle area. CenturyLink decided to add ultrafast, 1-gigabit per second service in pockets of the city after City Hall made it easier for the company to install above-ground utility cabinets in front of homes.

Comcast has moved to match CenturyLink’s gigabit service in other markets, but it’s not going that fast in Seattle just yet.

At the Xfinity “Performance Tier,” download speeds will increase from 25 megabits per second to 50 Mbps. “Internet Blast” service will increase from 50 Mbps to 105 Mbps, and the “Extreme” service will go from 105 Mbps to 150 Mbps.

The faster speeds are available across Comcast’s service area and not just in particular neighborhoods, Kipp noted.

Asked whether gigabit speeds are in the works, Kipp noted that Comcast offers up to 10 gig speeds for business customers.

“Stay tuned, we fully expect to continue to increase speeds to meet the needs of our customers,” he said via email.

Gigabit speeds are already available to apartments and condominiums in Seattle neighborhoods served by CondoInternet.

Comcast will notify customers by mail when the higher speeds are available. Customers will then need to restart their modems, triggering a software update to enable the faster service. Some may need a new modem, which Comcast will provide at no additional charge, if they already lease a modem from the company. The faster speeds require a modem that meets the DOCSIS 3.0 specification.

Kipp’s statement noted that Comcast has increased its broadband speeds 13 times in the past 12 years and as of the second quarter, 47 percent of its Internet customers had a speed tier faster than 50 Mbps.

 

Comments | Topics: broadband, centurylink, Comcast

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