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Comcast Rolls Out $70-Per-Month Gigabit Internet Service In Chicago (pcmag.com) 93

An anonymous reader writes from a report via PC Magazine: Comcast is now offering Chicagoans gigabit internet speeds. PC Magazine reports: "Launched on Wednesday, the program uses DOCSIS 3.1 technology to deliver speeds up to 1Gbps over existing network infrastructure. DOCSIS 3.1 runs through standard cable connections already in place at your home or office. So Xfinity and Comcast Business Internet customers can simply sign up for a plan and plug in a new modem; no fiber installation required. The service, according to Comcast, allows you to download a 5GB HD movie in 40 seconds, a 60MB TV episode in four seconds, a 150MB music album in two seconds, or a 15GB video game in two minutes. Initial users have the choice of a promotional contract price of $70 per month for 36 months, or $139.95 per month (plus tax and fees) with no contract."
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Comcast Rolls Out $70-Per-Month Gigabit Internet Service In Chicago

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  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @07:54PM (#52736115) Journal

    *60MB in four seconds, a 150MB in two seconds*

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      *60MB in four seconds, a 150MB in two seconds*

      Problem is they really use 60mb for a TV show.

      • My guess is that they slipped a digit, it was likely supposed to be 600MB. I can't imagine any tv show fitting in 60MB

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @07:58PM (#52736119)

    I don't think I'd want to watch a video with such atrocious bitrates, even if it was SD.

    • I don't think I'd want to watch a video with such atrocious bitrates, even if it was SD.

      Luckily, video streams generally use H.264 compression so your bandwidth usage is substantially lower than the bitrate going to your display.

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        I wasn't talking about the video signal bitrate to the display, I was talking about the encoded stream average bitrate if a whole half-hour of video is that small (not to mention the audio portion is included in that figure). 60 MB is not a large enough file to deliver a quality picture, even with HEVC.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19, 2016 @08:00PM (#52736127)

    The summary should note that the $70 deal is only good in cities where there is Google Fiber. http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/08/comcasts-70-gigabit-offer-is-only-good-in-cities-with-google-fiber/

    • by Travis Mansbridge ( 830557 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @08:12PM (#52736193)
      And the fact that it's just a promotion doesn't make this "$70/mo gigabit" like Google Fiber, this is $140/mo gigabit. They can start people at whatever price they want to get them in the door.
      • And $140/mo won't actually be the price either. You're forgetting the fees that add an additional 50% on top of that, so it's really $210 a month.
    • Well, for now it is only in those few places. But DOCSIS 3.1 does offer the potential to easily upgrade almost any cable customer, eventually. Minor head-end changes and new customer modems are all it needs, so at some point probably almost any Comcast customer will be able to get it.

      And "at some point" is going to be soon, as this is rolling out everywhere in the next 18 months. The fact that they can do this without digging one shovel of dirt is pretty neat. It is a solid solution. It's too bad i

  • Fuck you Comcast!
    Comcast and the rest of the cable companies are the modern day digital equivalent versions of the highwayman robbery!

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @05:24AM (#52737307)

      Fuck you Comcast! Comcast and the rest of the cable companies are the modern day digital equivalent versions of the highwayman robbery!

      I don't live in the US anymore, but from the comments I read here, I get the feeling that folks in the US have absolutely no trust in their ISPs. And this lack of trust is duly deserved, as the ISPs develop dubious offers full of gotchas and catches:

      "It's totally unlimited at speed X! Except when it's not unlimited and speed X is the theoretical maximum."

      A good business relationship requires trust between buyer and seller. If the buyer does not trust the seller, he will go elsewhere. The trouble with ISPs in the US, it seems that the choice is extremely limited. And they are all bad as the rest. It's like a "bazaar of crooks".

      So how to fix this? I would nice to see bunch of smaller ISPs, who really cared about their customers. As opposed to a few gargantuan ISPs who obviously don't need to care about their customers.

  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @08:10PM (#52736183) Homepage Journal

    The service, according to Comcast, allows you to download a 5GB HD movie in 40 seconds, [ ...marketing blather... ]

    Uh-huh. I notice they're being conspicuously silent on upload speeds. "Gee, how nice I can download a movie in a couple minutes, but how long will I have to wait to upload the video of my daughter's ${WINTER_HOLIDAY} pageant?"

    Meanwhile, Google Fiber is 1Gb/sec symmetric.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by arbiter1 ( 1204146 )
      99.9% of home users don't need 1gbit. heck could go 100/100 connection and that would be good for that whole group. heck even 50/30 would satisfy mostly all users needs.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Of course they don't need it. They don't need cell phones either. With 1Gb symmetric I would buy an awesome desktop, then always remote into it from portable, dumber computers. We'd swing back towards distributed systems. Meaning everyone will begin hosting their own videos, pictures, blogs, etc... from their personal connections. Online video and image quality would increase. Cable TV would die. New 3D transit maps could be downloaded and sent to your car every night. AR and VR websites would final

      • Which is why ewhac is pointing out the lack of upload speed listed. Likely the upload is pathetically slow. 30 mbit would be impressive for Comcast.

        http://www.xfinity.com/interne... [xfinity.com]

        You will notice, nowhere on that page do they list the upload speeds, that is because it is slower than 1/10th the speed of the download.

        • Which is why ewhac is pointing out the lack of upload speed listed. Likely the upload is pathetically slow. 30 mbit would be impressive for Comcast.

          http://www.xfinity.com/interne... [xfinity.com]

          You will notice, nowhere on that page do they list the upload speeds, that is because it is slower than 1/10th the speed of the download.

          I have Comcast cable internet in the Chicago area. The speed whenever I test it is 105Mb down, 25 up.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's a pathetic 35 magabits per second.

      • It's a pathetic 35 magabits per second.

        Unfortunately you're not going to get much better on cable, even with DOCSIS 3.1. Upstream requires valuable low-frequency spectrum, which there's only a limited amount of and there's contention with other services (cable boxes, VoIP, etc). Meanwhile it's a nosier shared environment, so you also can't use as high of a bitrate as you can on the downstream.

        Fiber is clearly better in this respect. But it's the tradeoff of using the copper already in the ground as opposed

  • *up to* 1Gps (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19, 2016 @08:16PM (#52736217)

    Good luck with that. I predict you will get much less than 1Gbps, especially at busy times of the day when lots of your neighbors are also getting "up to" 1Gbps and watching tv, and you will be locked into a 3-year contract or paying twice as much for non-contract service. I used to be a comcast customer. We had to reboot their router about once or twice per day. We regularly lost internet connectivity. In fact we regularly lost the cable TV signal and some of the channels never did come through clearly. Then they scrambled the signal that we were already paying for and replaced it with a message that they had done it "for [our] convenience." We couldn't watch the channels we were paying for unless we went and got one of their descramblers. We could get a descrambler for one TV for free for a limited time, or something like that (I believe we had to pay for a second one to descramble for the second tv in a different room).

    We've had google fiber for a couple of years now and I've only had to reboot the router one or two times that entire time. Every speedtest is over 900Mbps (both up and down). I hope I never have to go back to comcast.

  • Bell Canada "Gigabit Fibe" FTTH up here in Canuckistan. $150 CAD for full unlimited 940 Mbps up / 100 Mbps down. I pull down 3-4 TB a month.

  • I'm assuming that Google fiber is available in that area, because Comcast is pretty much only providing these offers in areas where they have some actual competition. Elsewhere, it's the usual monopolistic rates.
  • So now you can reach your data cap in 40 seconds! WOW!

  • I think they are spying on me for that price so I have pornhub playing 24/7 on a spare PC.

  • I can get 6 Mbps at 300GB/mo or 10 Mbps at 250GB/mo but either way we paid the telcos to expand broadband to everyone and they didn't. Fuck this third world country.

  • >"Comcast Rolls Out $70-Per-Month Gigabit Internet Service In Chicago "

    >"Initial users have the choice of a promotional contract price of $70 per month for 36 months, or $139.95 per month (plus tax and fees) with no contract."

    So it is *NOT* $70/mo, which is only for new customers, only for a short time, and only with a contract. It is probably more like $150 to $160 per month after additional money for hidden fees and then more for taxes.

    I am extremely sick and tired of these misleading and dishonest

    • Nobody loves a contract but they are pretty standard in the ISP business where there is hardware involved. For a typical WISP it's somewhere two to four hundred bucks installation plus a year's contract. Presumably they will require a spendy new modem. Having a $70/mo rate locked in for three years is fantastic if you're not planning to move.

      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        yea but if your an existing customer magically that number wont exist, they will offer you something similar for the same price, or charge you more for the service, as a thank you for choosing comcast

        I moved from an apartment to a rental to buying a house in a year, I know how this works

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      its more like 170 something, typically your XX$ a month service gets aout 25% added on in taxes fees and charges, oh and dont forget the 50$ professional install charge cause they insisted on sending you a box with 3 new coax cords in it

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