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Comcast may not be the most desirable of Internet service providers but it could very well be the first to offer gigabit connectivity nationwide.
The ISP said back in April that it is planning to upgrade its entire network to the DOCSIS 3.1 standard (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) and that some customers would have the option by early 2016.
Robert Howland, Comcast’s vice president of network architecture, recently told FierceCable that their intent is to scale it through their footprint over the course of next year. The idea is to upgrade the entire network in a rapid manner so that within two years, regions that Comcast currently serves would have access to gigabit speeds.
Ars Technica notes that the nation’s largest Internet provider operates in 39 states and Washington, DC, with a subscriber base of 22.5 million.
Howland conceded that the upgrade might take up to three years but either way, it’s encouraging to see ISPs interested in offering faster connectivity speeds to customers.
As was the case with the upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0, end-users will need a new modem to take advantage of the faster speeds. It’s also worth mentioning that unlike a symmetrical fiber connection, upload speeds will be slower than download speeds.
What's more, the DOCSIS 3.1 standard isn’t limited to just 1Gbps download speeds. As Howland explained, the standard can support downstream speeds of up to 10Gbps and uploads of up to 1Gbps.
Earlier this summer, Comcast announced GigabitPro, a symmetrical 2Gbps fiber-based connection for residential customers. The service is offered in select regions but as you may have guessed, it isn’t cheap. Pricing is set at $299.95 per month in addition to an installation fee of $500 and an activation fee of $500. Subscribers must also sign a two-year service agreement and may have to wait up to eight weeks or more for installation to be complete.
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