Comcast plans to bring multi-gig internet speeds to 34 cities in the US by the end of this year, and will later expand the reach to more than 50 million homes by the end of 2025. to a press release, the company has already started rolling out 2-gig speeds across its broadband network in Colorado Springs, CO; Augusta, Georgia; Panama City Beach, Florida; and Philadelphia, PA.
Customers in these cities can also take advantage of upload speeds that Comcast says are five to ten times faster than what it currently offers. Upload speeds appear to be maxed out at 200Mbps even with the new Gigabit x2 plan, but Comcast plans to change that. It will launch multi-gig symmetric speeds next year, enabling multi-gig speeds for both downloads and upload.
While symmetrical uploads and downloads are expected with fiber optic internet, the cable lags behind. But with DOCSIS 4.0, a high-bandwidth broadband standard that allows downloads up to 10 Gbps and uploads up to 6 Gbps, providers like Comcast can enable symmetrical connections over the cable. Comcast is currently transitioning to the new standard and reached 4 Gbps upload and download speeds during a test in January.
While companies like AT&T, Frontier, Verizon and Google are expanding their fiber networks, the service is still largely limited to users in urban areas. Symmetrical speeds on cable networks can be a welcome option for people who need a faster connection but are not in areas where fiber is available.
For now, customers in Colorado Springs, Augusta, Panama City Beach, and Philadelphia won’t need to upgrade their modem to access Comcast’s faster (but not symmetrical) 2-gig speeds. Comcast Cable EPP Elad Nafshi told Fierce Telecom that once Comcast rolls out its symmetric services next year, customers will have to upgrade their modem.
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verges parent company.