Comcast is jumping into the race to provide Internet speeds fast enough to download “Furious 7” in “furiouser” 20 seconds or less.
Beginning today, metro Atlanta residents in select neighborhoods can sign up to be among the first to sample the cable giant’s new 1 gigabit service for $70 a month with a $10 monthly cable modem charge and no data caps.
“Our Atlanta customers will be among the first in the world to enjoy this new Gigabit technology, and we’re looking forward to learning more from these early adopters about how they take advantage of these ultra-fast speeds,” Comcast Central Division President Bill Connors said.
Comcast’s entry into the market is significant because unlike its competitors — mainly AT&T and Google’s nascent Google Fiber business — Comcast’s service doesn’t require laying expensive fiber cable. All customers need is a cable line into their homes and Comcast’s new DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
High-speed gigabit services are becoming increasingly popular as consumers rely more heavily on the Internet to power devices for work, play and, in some cases, to operate everything in the house from the thermostat to the garage door.
That has strained download speeds that used to be sufficient — around 20 megabits per second — especially when families use the web simultaneously.
Google pushed the industry to adopt the faster speeds two years ago when it rolled out Google Fiber and its 1 gigabit service. The tech giant began laying fiber cable in metro Atlanta last year and has begun offering the service in a handful of apartment buildings.
AT&T and Comcast, seeking to maintain market share, have both rolled out gigabit services. AT&T offers gigabit speeds in at least 15 communities, including Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Decatur, Alpharetta, Newnan and Covington. Before Monday’s announcement, Comcast had offered a 2-gigabit service for $149 a month with an installation fee of $1,000.
Comcast did not say how many people would be chosen for the initial roll out of its 1-gigabit service, but admitted the numbers would be small to “ensure seamless deployment,” a spokesman said. The service will roll out more broadly later in the year.
To learn more, www.xfinity.com/gig.