Faster than Gigabit: Xfinity Wants to Sell You Really Fast Internet

Faster than Gigabit: Xfinity Wants to Sell You Really Fast Internet

How much faster will the new WiFi speeds be and which states will have it first?

Comcast announced Wednesday that it has introduced what it calls “Wi-Fi speeds faster than a Gig” to customers in the Northeastern United States, and that it will soon offer such speeds to the rest of its service areas in the country, sometime later this year.

According to the cable giant’s press release, the new speeds were rolled out January 7 to customers in fourteen Northeastern states, from Maine to Washington, D.C. It arrived, Comcast said, “at no additional cost to customers.”

Comcast said earlier this month that it had begun offering xFi Advanced Gateway, certified with WiFi 6.

The service, Comcast said, is “delivered using Comcast’s existing network architecture and the connections that are already in most customers’ homes,” with the faster speeds made possible by the improvements Comcast has been making to its network over the past few years.

“We are hyper-focused on advancing our Internet product with new innovation,” Kevin Casey, Comcast Northeast Division President, said in the announcement. “Now our customers can enjoy faster speeds, state-of-the art gateways with Wi-Fi 6 technology, wall-to-wall Wi-Fi coverage, personalized tools and controls, and advanced cybersecurity protection.” 

Back in October, Comcast announced that it had performed a test that reached “a 10G technical milestone,” which delivered what it called “1.25 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) upload and download speeds over a live production network,” at a home in Jacksonville, Fla.

“The great strength of our network technology is that we will have the ability to scale these next-generation speeds to tens of millions of homes in the future without digging up yards, or starting massive construction projects,” Comcast’s Tony Werner said in a statement at the time. “This technology provides a path to meeting the needs of the future and making multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds a reality for everyone, not just a select few.”

The change in the Northeastern states comes about six weeks after Comcast announced that it would impose a high-speed Internet data cap of 1.2 TB, also in the Northeast.

“Starting in March 2021, customers not on an unlimited data plan who exceed 1.2 TB in a month will have a one-time courtesy month credit under the plan applied to their accounts, and will be responsible for any data overage changes after that,” Comcast announced in November.

“Blocks of 50 GB will automatically be added to customers’ accounts for an additional fee of $10 each plus tax. Charges will not exceed $100 each month, no matter how much data a customer uses.”

That change, however, applied to a wider area than Maine to Washington; it also affected parts of Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

Comcast also raised prices for pay-TV service earlier this year.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.