Comcast has come out today to announce that they’re prepping to beat Google Fiber to Atlanta—but they’re not just going for par; the company wants to one-up the offerings of Google and AT&T by introducing previously unheard-of 2Gbps residential Internet service. It will be “the fastest residential Internet speed in the country,” the infamous media conglomerate says.
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Gigabit Pro will be available to any home within close proximity of Comcast’s fiber network and will require an installation of professional-grade equipment. The company has fiber at the core of its network and, for the past decade, it has been extending it deeper into neighborhoods and closer to homes. To date, Comcast has built out more than 145,000 route miles of fiber across its service area.
The service will be symmetrical, meaning that both upload and download speeds will be capable of reaching 2Gbps. Interestingly, neither Google Fiber nor AT&T have yet made their way to the Atlanta area despite plans to do so. Comcast’s Gigabit Pro will probably be the first to reach the Georgia capital, starting rollout next month.
Pricing is something that’s currently up in the air. Google and AT&T both offer relatively affordable gigabit service, while Comcast’s currently-available 505Mbps service costs a whopping $400 per month. It seems unlikely that the company will be able to meet the $70 price point of its competitors, but Comcast told Arstechnica that the price of the service will indeed be lower than the current $400 offering.
The way Comcast is rolling out the service is a little bit unique as well, as the company says they’re avoiding the “neighborhood” approach that Google has taken which determines which areas get the service based on demand.
“Our approach is to offer the most comprehensive rollout of multi-gigabit service to the most homes as quickly as possible, not just to certain neighborhoods,” said Doug Guthrie, SVP of Comcast Cable’s South Region. “We already provide the fastest speeds to the most homes and businesses in Atlanta, and access to Gigabit Pro will give our customers all the broadband capacity they need to stay ahead of future technologies and innovations.”
The service “will be offered broadly across the Atlanta metro area,” the company says, and as mentioned, it will be available in Atlanta homes starting next month. Comcast says that while Atlanta is first on the list, other cities are on the way and the goal is to have 18 million homes connected “by the end of the year.”