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We've Got Exclusive Details On New Comcast Speeds, Prices
Broader DOCSIS 3.0 Launch getting very close...
by Karl Bode 12:09PM Monday Oct 20 2008
Comcast will be shaking up their speed tiers as they deploy DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades, not only increasing speeds on standard tiers, but delivering new, 22Mbps/5Mbps and 50Mbps/10Mbps speed tiers. Comcast is now prepping employees for several market launches expected over the next few weeks, and it's becoming harder to keep the lid on the pot. We've spoken to several company insiders who confirm the looming changes.

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Employees familiar with the upgrade plan say "Performance" 6Mbps/1Mbps subscribers will be upgraded to 12Mbps/2Mbps ($42.95). "Performance Plus" 8Mbps/2Mbps subscribers will be increased to Blast 16Mbps/2Mbps ($52.95). Both upgrades are at no cost. Comcast will continue to offer an "Economy" 768kbps/384kbps tier for $24.95, aimed primarily at light users and used as a retention tool.

For hungrier users, the company plans to offer a new "Ultra" 22Mbps/5Mbps tier for $62.95. Ultra should hit speeds of about 30Mbps when Comcast's Powerboost technology kicks in. The grand daddy of all Comcast tiers will be the "Extreme 50" 50Mbps/10Mbps tier, which some markets will see as low as $139.95. Both new tiers will obviously require new DOCSIS 3.0 modems that won't be available initially at retail, but can be rented for $3 a month.

According to talking points being distributed internally, the "Extreme 50" tier can be added on to a customers existing bundle for $100 more a month. The new 50Mbps tier will not come with Powerboost (apparently, that might just get silly). Keep in mind that all prices could fluctuate slightly in your market, depending on competition (or lack thereof). FiOS markets will most likely be Comcast's first upgrade priority.

For the time being, you can assume that all tiers will come with Comcast's new 250GB monthly cap. All tiers will also be subject the company's new "bandwidth management" system, which temporarily puts heavy users on a special, lower quality of service (QOS) "bus" only if their local node is seeing congestion, and if they're using more than 70% of their allotted throughput. You can read more about this new system in our report here.

Insiders say that Comcast should have a new landing website for the faster speeds up within the next few weeks. Users will be able to enter their zip code to see if their neighborhood has been upgraded with DOCSIS 3.0, and if not, receive e-mail alerts on installation progress. Comcast has promised to upgrade 20% of their footprint with DOCSSIS 3.0 by the end of this year, and a full 100% of their markets by the end of 2010.

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