Comcast Speeds Past Qwest in Denver
The MSO said its wideband tier, which also delivers up to 10 Mbit/s upstream for $99.95 per month, is already available to more than half of the Denver metro, as well as parts of Southern and Northern Colorado. Comcast, which serves about 840,000 customers in the state and began the upgrades in late August, says it expects to offer Docsis 3.0 to the rest of the Denver metro by next month and extend the service to "most Mountain Communities" before the end of 2009.
Comcast is also introducing a new residential tier, "Ultra," offering 22 Mbit/s down by 5 Mbit/s up for $62.95. The operator is also doubling the downstream and upstream of its "Performance" tier to 12 Mbit/s down by 2 Mbit/s up for no extra cost. And it's upgrading existing "Performance Plus" customers to the "Blast!" tier, which doubles the downstream to 16 Mbit/s.
Comcast's new 50-Mbit/s tier will compete head-on with a new VDSL2 service from Qwest that pumps in 40 Mbit/s down and 20 Mbit/s upstream for an "introductory" price of $109.99 per month when bundled with the telco's phone service. Qwest has not yet said what percentage of its footprint is close enough to its central offices to get access to those speeds, but the telco has identified Denver (where it's headquartered) as one of the markets that's getting the 40/20 service. (See Qwest Attacks Comcast With 40 Mbit/s.)
Comcast has launched a 100 Mbit/s (downstream), Docsis 3.0-based commercial service tier in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. The MSO has yet to debut it in additional cities, but has noted that it anticipates introducing it in other wideband-ready cable properties. That tier sells for $369.95 per month, and bundles in a 15 Mbit/s upstream to go with the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Communication Service (SharePoint and Outlook) and McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE)'s PC security suite. (See Comcast Gets Bizzy With 100-Meg Tier .)
Comcast will have 80 percent of its footprint -- roughly 40 million homes and businesses passed -- wideband-ready by the end of 2009. The MSO is expected to complete the job by the end of 2010.
But to help it foot the bill for the Docsis 3.0 upgrades, Comcast is reportedly increasing monthly cable modem fees from $3 to $5 in all its markets this fall.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News
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