Comcast Ups Gigabit Pro Speeds

Comcast’s fiber optic service got a huge speed increase this week – the plan went from 3 gigabits symmetrical to a whopping 6! This is the second speed increase I’ve received for no extra charge since I had the service installed in 2020. You can see my series detailing the adventure here.

In addition to the six gigabit circuit (available as an SFP+ connection) there’s also an additional 1 gigabit circuit running on ethernet for a total of 7 gigabits. The link speed is 10 so there’s still a little more room to grow. The funny thing when you’re running this fast is finding a speed test that can actually handle the bandwidth!

After taxes I pay around $320 a month for the service. It pays for itself by the fact that uploads that once took me 45 minutes to an hour can now be done in about 30-45 seconds. That means I can upload much closer to my deadline vs. before. Most of my videos get uploaded to three different platforms (YouTube, Floatplane and Amazon) so not having to babysit uploads is a real efficiency gain for me.

Reliability is also immensely better than the coax service. Over the last two years I’ve had maybe 30 minutes or so of downtime. Streaming is rock solid even when pushing 10’s of megabits upstream to multiple platforms. This is metro ethernet, not a shared GPON connection, so you’re getting a very reliable industrial grade connection here. My circuit connects directly to the “head end” about eight miles away with nothing in between.

Getting installed depends on how close you are to a splice point or node. I was fortunate that I lived right down the street from a fiber splice so the construction costs were within the scope of what they cover for an install. If you go beyond that allowance you have to pay the difference. If you’re not near a node or a splice point it can get very expensive.

While there are far less expensive fiber options out there in my area Comcast is the only game in town. That is changing though and I suspect these two big speed increases in the course of the last year are evident that competitors are beginning to catch up.

Frontier, the local phone company here in Connecticut, has emerged from bankruptcy and running fiber all over the place. Verizon and T-Mobile are also offering wireless service for the home along with Starlink.