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Comcast Trims Wideband Pricing

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is looking to pressure to its DSL- and fiber-fed high-speed Internet competition by reducing the price of its Extreme 50 Docsis 3.0 service to $99.95 per month when bundled with its video or voice service.

The MSO is also trimming back the price of the tier (50 Mbit/s downstream in peak bursts, and 10 Mbit/s upstream) as a stand-alone service, to $116.95 per month.

Extreme 50 used to go for $139.95 per month in either case.

As far as bang for the wideband buck goes in the United States, Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) still has bragging rights with its $99.95 per month, 101-Mbit/s (downstream) Optimum Online Ultra tier. (See Cablevision Debuts 101-Mbit/s Wideband Service.)

Comcast is initially offering the new Docsis 3.0 pricing scheme in the Washington, D.C., metro area, where it competes with RCN Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). (See Comcast Brings Wideband to DC.) Verizon, by the way, just blasted Comcast with a wide range of false advertising claims, including some tied to the 50-Mbit/s wideband service.

Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas says the new wideband pricing will take effect nationally on June 15, though it could take up to 60 days for some customers to see it depending on where they are in their respective billing cycles.

Some customers in the western portion of the U.S. may be able to get the stand-alone Extreme 50 service for a few bucks less than $116.95 per month, Douglas adds.

Comcast says the adjustment will ensure that Docsis 3.0 price breaks are more closely aligned with the way it bundles its other Internet products. "We tested a variety of models, and this is where we came out," Douglas says.

Comcast has about one third of its systems wired up for wideband. It expects to boost that proportion to 65 percent (more than 30 million homes passed) by year's end, and to 100 percent by the end of 2010. (See Comcast Sets Wideband Goal .)

Comcast has not stated any firm plans to offer a faster Docsis 3.0 tier, but there are rumors that it could launch a 100 Mbit/s service later this year. (See Comcast Lighting Up 100 Mbit/s?)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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