Comcast last fall announced that it had achieved what it called a “10G technical milestone,” in a trial that delivered what it called “symmetrical 1.25 gigabit-per-second upload and download speeds over a live production network.”
In that test, which was conducted in a home in Jacksonville, Comcast “consistently measured speeds of 1.25 Gbps upload and 1.25 Gbps download over the connection.”
“Our customers build their digital lives on the foundation of our Internet service, so we continue to push the technological envelope to anticipate their future needs,” Tony Werner, President of Technology, Product, Xperience at Comcast Cable, said at the time.
“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. 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.”
Not long afterward, Comcast announced that it was ready to offer “Wi-Fi speeds faster than a Gig” to customers in the Northeastern U.S.
What’s especially unique about that demonstration of next-generation cable technology is that most of the plans Comcast has offered in the past have offered much slower upload speeds than download speeds.
According to a schedule of Comcast’s Xfinity Internet plans published in December by US News, only the Gigabit Pro fiber plan offers the same speed (2,000 Mbps) for upload and download speeds. Every other plan listed has download speeds much faster than upload speeds.
Nevertheless, Comcast was named Best ISP Overall by US News, in that same article.
One competitor, Verizon Fios, is known for stronger upload speeds.
“When it comes to upload speeds, Verizon Fios Home Internet’s fully fiber network can’t be beat,” reviews.org said in a comparison published in February. Upload speeds are more critical for anyone who uploads large files to the internet. So if you’re a photographer, videographer, or work-from-home pro, we recommend Verizon Fios Home Internet.”
HighSpeedInternet.com, in a comparison published last year, agreed with that assessment.
“If you’re a gamer or just need a lot of upload speed, choose Verizon,” the site said. “Verizon Fios Home Internet delivers fast, reliable internet speeds over its fiber-optic network. Its upload speeds are much faster than most other internet providers, so it’s great for gaming and uploading videos.
Why are upload speeds important? They aren’t, for everyone. But if you’re someone who regularly works with large files, and your work depends on being able to upload, say, a massive presentation or an hours-long video project, fast and dependable upload speeds are necessary.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, 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.