Comcast is probably one of the least popular corporations in America, which is really saying something when you think about it. It doesn’t even offer service to most of the country, and people still loathe it. So, it’s making a bid to get back into America’s good graces… or at least some of them.
Essentially, Comcast is rolling out a service it calls “Gigabit Pro,” which offers 2GB upload and download speeds and will first debut in Atlanta, where, by a complete coincidence, Google Fiber is arriving shortly. It’ll be everywhere Comcast has a fiber cable by the end of the year.
The catch, though, is you’ve got to be within a third of a mile of Comcast’s fiber cable to get the speed, and it’s not going to be cheap. Ars Technica notes that it will be cheaper than the $400 a month Comcast charges for its current high speed, but probably will not be the $70 a month many pay on average. Although, if we’re going to cut them some slack, that’s still 18 million homes; that’s more than half of their subscriber base.
As for homes more than a third of a mile away, well, you may be able to pay Comcast to hook up fiber directly to your house at some point, although they’re not currently discussing that option. However, that’s not a cheap proposition, and as those who have done it can tell you, there are potentially serious drawbacks. That said, this also proves that Google’s attempt to push ISPs into offering better service is working. Now, if we could do something about that customer service department…