Ars Technica has some interesting information on Comcast's plans for wideband interet connectivity in 2009. Comcast is set on continued rollouts for the DOCSIS 3.0 standard and hopes to increase its footprint on the technology by doubling the coverage to some 30 million homes and businesses. Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, and many other large cities already have the increased speeds available to consumers.
Comcast is pushing hard to stay in the game and compete with AT&T and Verizon to keep customers from switching internet providers. Verizon's FiOS already offers speeds of 50Mbps down and Comcast is looking to enable speeds of 100Mbps by the end of 2009 in some areas. However the increased speeds will not bring an increased cap on total bandwidth. The company has stated the the 250GB monthly bandwidth caps will remain in place, which means it will be so much easier to reach that limit.
Comcast first flipped the switch on its first DOCSIS 3.0 deployment in the Twin Cities in April of 2008, pricing the 50Mbps tier at $149.95 per month. Comcast's newly renamed Extreme 50 service is now a bit cheaper at $139.95 (upstream speed is 10Mbps). The cable giant's other new service tier is Ultra, which offers speeds of up 22Mbps down and 5Mbps up for $62.95. Most current Comcast customers will at least get a speed boost from DOCSIS 3.0: Performance broadband customers will see their speeds doubled to 12Mbps/2Mbps up, while Performance Plus subscribers get a boost to 16Mbps down.