US cable giant Comcast announced a new 2Gbps broadband service that the company expects to begin rolling out next month in Atlanta. So far there has been no mention of the price customers can expect to pay for such service, but Comcast says it will be a symmetrical connection, meaning that your upload speed will be the same as your download speed.
While Comcast claims that the service area won't be limited "just to certain neighborhoods", there may be impediments other than location for many customers. For instance, in order to qualify for service, your address will need to be "within close proximity" of Comcast's existing fiber network, and customers must be willing to accept the installation of "professional-grade" equipment, industry buzz-words that mean Comcast's new service could possibly come with a very large price tag.
Doug Guthrie, Senior VP of Comcast Cable’s South Region, explained that the company's "approach is to offer the most comprehensive rollout of multi-gigabit service to the most homes as quickly as possible." That's a complete about-face from the opinion they voiced about high-speed fiber internet just a couple of years ago, when Comcast dismissed Google's Fiber efforts as being "excessive" for the needs of most consumers.
Comcast already offers a similar service to business customers across the United States, so the move is just an extension of the multi-gigabit service to residential customers. Comcast said they plan to expand to other cities beyond Atlanta and expect to provide the service to as many as 18 million American homes by the end of 2015. The company also says it's working on a 1 Gbps service that will compete with the speeds offered by Google Fiber by 2016, which Comcast says will allow "almost every customer in our footprint" to connect to the fiber network.