Broadband services

Comcast Starts to Roll Free Speed Upgrades

In what is expected to be the start of a nationwide upgrade initiative, Comcast has begun to deploy free downstream speed bumps for its most popular broadband service tiers in Oregon and Southwest Washington and other parts of the operator's West division.

By tier, here's how the downstream speed upgrades stack up:

  • Performance: 60 Mbit/s to 75 Mbit/s.
  • Performance Pro: 150 Mbps to 175 Mbps.
  • Blast!: 250 Mbit/s to 275 Mbit/s.
  • Extreme: 400 Mbit/s to 500 Mbit/s.

Comcast, which also offers 1 Gbit/s downstream speeds across its fully deployed DOCSIS 3.1 network, said roughly 85% of its customers in the Oregon/SW Washington region subscribe to either Performance, Performance Pro, Blast! or Extreme. The speed upgrades apply to Comcast broadband services that are bundled with other cable services or bought on a stand-alone basis, the company said.

Customers in that region who lease a gateway from Comcast will automatically receive the speed upgrades without a modem rest. Those who purchased a modem on their own will need to go online to see if their model is eligible for the faster speeds.

Comcast's latest free speed upgrade is underway in the MSO's West division before being phased in across its US cable service footprint.

Why this matters
The phased-in upgrade is the latest in a long string of speed increases, particularly in the downstream direction, that Comcast has initiated in recent years to stay ahead of bandwidth demand as consumers connect more and more devices onto their home networks.

Speaking at a presser last week, Matt Strauss, EVP of Xfinity Services at Comcast Cable, noted that Comcast has increased broadband speeds 17 times in the past 18 years. As a point of historical reference, downstream speeds for Comcast's Blast! tier maxed out at 16 Mbit/s back in 2008.

Comcast will also use the speed bumps to help drive more value into its more popular tiers and attempt to keep key broadband ARPU levels in check. The MSO will also raise speeds to help gain and retain its share of broadband subscribers in its footprint against DSL and FTTP competitors, as well as emerging 5G-based fixed wireless offerings being pitched as in-home broadband alternatives.

Comcast, which ended Q2 2019 with 25.63 million residential broadband subs, is on track to bring on well over 1 million broadband net adds in 2019, maintaining a pace that it has kept up for the past 13 years, Strauss said.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

daniel58 9/24/2019 | 12:18:11 PM
Comcast upstaged by Verizon Fios Gigabit I used to be with Comcast Blast until they increased the price with their supposedly free speed upgrades followed by a price increase the following January; I have fired and permanantly terminated Comcast and instead signed up for Verizon Fios Gigabit not only am I getting 945Mbps download speeds and 905 upload speeds which Comcast can never in the next upcoming speed upgrades even hope to match especially in the upload speed department; but I am also only paying $73 monthly also as well; I will be a Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection for life; based both on actual superior value, superior performance and superior price and will deliver the next 17 future incremental Comcast speed upgrades without non of the upcoming associated price upgrades!!!
tsumeone 9/24/2019 | 11:41:03 AM
"fully deployed DOCSIS 3.1 network" I need to point out that Comcast has NOT fully deployed DOCSIS 3.1.  Last year in October 2018 they made a press release that said "nearly all" of their customers got DOCSIS 3.1.  It's a year later and Northeast Tennessee STILL does not have DOCSIS 3.1 and the max speed available to new customers is 150mbps.
pssst3 9/24/2019 | 11:17:47 AM
Update It's not really "free. For many cutomers it's restoration of service that has been degraded because of oversubscription.  Comcast's 5 emali accounts per subscriber have become 2-3 simultaneous streaming connection. The last mile cable branch lines are physically the same as +10 years ago. Channel bonding can only do so much.

The "increase" was because congestion had dropped the local throughput to under 25/10 during peak traffic times 6-10PM) (Measured with FING using a wired connection.)

The upload speed has been lowered each time that the local company changed hands from ATHome to ATT to SBC to Comcast.  It was originally 15/10.  I was an IT systems engineer, sometimes worked from home.)

With ATT in the NW suburban Chicago area now offering fiber internet 100/100 for close to the same price there's an ATT truck on my street every week changing someone from Comcast to ATT. 

I just received an email to my Comcast account saying that my 60/5 service was being "upgraded" to 100/5.  The last time they sent me a notice it was that I was being 
upgraded from 50 to 75Mbps, which they later lowered to 60 on my bills.

I'm not hopeful that 100/5Mpbs will be delivered, no matter when of how they measure it. 



Jeff Baumgartner 9/23/2019 | 5:01:09 PM
Re: I was upgraded Got it here in the Denver area as well: from 250/10 Mbps to 275/10, so it's evident that the upgrades have spread into most if not all of the Comcast West division, so we've updated the story to reflect that. Also added in the upgraded speeds for the tier you have -- Performance Pro -- that I left off the list by mistake. JB 
brooks7 9/23/2019 | 4:42:46 PM
I was upgraded  

I am in Northern California and was upgraded from 150Mb/s to 175 Mb/s.  The upload speed remained the same at 5 Mb/s.


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