The Washington Times - June 9, 2009, 10:16AM

Those of you who are viewing this over Comcast’s Internet service might notice an uptick in your cable download speeds, the firm reports in a news release issued Tuesday:



Comcast … today announced it is making the leap from broadband to wideband with the launch of next-generation DOCSIS 3.0 in the Washington, D.C., metro area. With wideband, Comcast introduces a new echelon of Internet speed tiers, which redefines the customer experience online and creates a platform for Internet innovation in the years ahead.


With wideband, Comcast will offer among the fastest speeds available today, including the Extreme 50 tier with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps. It will also enable Comcast to double speeds for the majority of existing high-speed Internet customers at no additional cost.


“Wideband utilizes our existing advanced fiber-optic network in neighborhoods across our footprint.  With this next generation service, our customers’ online experience is dramatically enhanced,” said Fred Graffam, senior vice president of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “This new service will enable us to continue to offer our customers even faster speeds and an entirely new realm of Internet innovation.”


This month in the District of Columbia, Comcast is offering the new services first in neighborhoods in Anacostia. Most existing high-speed Internet customers will see their speeds double for no additional cost. Comcast also is rolling out the new services to residential homes and businesses in communities it serves in the Washington, D.C. metro area beginning in parts of Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. The entire Washington, D.C. market is expected to have wideband by the end of the year.


“I applaud Comcast for bringing this innovative technology to the District and to our neighborhoods east of the river first,” said D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.  “Residents, especially those who are tech-savvy, will be thrilled about their ability to enjoy this next generation of technology.”


As part of the wideband deployment, Comcast will launch two new premium speed tiers to its residential and business class customers. Both new services are ideal for households or businesses simultaneously using several computers or Internet-connected devices. They also will appeal to those who simply want some of the fastest speeds available today:


New Residential Tiers

  • Extreme 50, offering up to 50 Mbps of downstream speed and up to 10 Mbps of upstream speed at $99.95/month.*
  • Ultra, offering up to 22 Mbps of downstream speed and up to 5 Mbps of upstream speed at $62.95/month.*


With Extreme 50, Comcast customers will be able to download a high-def movie (6 GB) in about 16 minutes, a standard-def movie (2 GB) in about five minutes and a standard-def TV show (300 MB) in a matter of seconds. Customers with Extreme 50 also will be able to download digital photos, songs and games faster than ever. 


In addition to the new speed tiers, Comcast also is increasing speeds for most of its existing customers.


  • Performance tier customers will benefit from doubled downstream and upstream speeds, offering up to 12 Mbps and 2 Mbps, respectively.
  • Performance Plus customers will be upgraded to Comcast’s Blast! tier, which will double their download speeds to up to 16 Mbps and provide up to 2 Mbps of upload speed.


Plus, with PowerBoost® technology, customers are able to enjoy even faster speeds to download and upload files such as videos, games, music and photos.


New Business Class Tiers

Business customers will benefit from wideband with increased efficiency and productivity. Customers can sign up for the Deluxe 50 Mbps / 10 Mbps tier for $189.95/month, which includes a full suite of features and support. As part of their service, Comcast Business Class customers receive Microsoft Communication Services, providing corporate-class e-mail, calendaring and document sharing, as well as additional benefits such as firewall protection, static IP addresses, multiple e-mail addresses and business class 24/7 customer support. Existing business class customers also will receive complimentary speed increases—speeds on the Starter tier will be doubled to up to 12 Mbps / 2 Mbps and a new Premium Tier will also be introduced, offering speeds up to 22 Mbps / 5 Mbps for only $99.95/month.


To find out when wideband will be available in their neighborhood, customers can visit or call 1-800-COMCAST.

*Pricing for residential customers and requires subscription to either Comcast Video or Digital Voice service.



I’m not sure where Verizon is on their FiOS service; I’ll have to check my home installation. But I daresay that Comcast’s competitors have or will soon offer services to match. A customer, to paraphrase an old line, is a terrible thing to lose.