Comcast confirmed Tuesday that it is introducing new double- and triple-play packages in its Central Division that standardize on broadband service tiers that essentially double the speeds provided in its existing service bundles.
Under the new plan, Comcast will offer bundled customers the option to go with base packages that include a minimum of Comcast’s 50 Mbps (downstream) “Blast” high-speed Internet service, or its 105 Mbps “Extreme” service tier. Starting Tuesday (January 21), Comcast is promoting the updated, standardized speed options to new bundled customers in the Central Division, and expects to extend them to existing double- and triple-play customers in the division over the next several weeks, an MSO spokesman said.
The new packages will double the speeds offered with those bundled packages without boosting the price. Comcast historically has been selling double- and triple-play bundles in the Central Division with a minimum of the MSO’s “Performance” broadband tier (25 Mbps downstream) or its 50-Meg Blast service.
Comcast is presently limiting the new bundle packages to its Central Division, a region that operates in 15 states and covers markets such as Chicago; Detroit; Atlanta; Detroit; Miami; and Nashville, Tenn. Comcast has not announced when or if it will offer similar speed packages in its West and Northeast divisions.
Comcast’s Central Division, which has about 19 million combined video, broadband and voice customers, primarily competes with AT&T U-verse, which has been trying to make some noise with its new 45 Mbps “Power” tier. As part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP (VIP), the company is also planning to offer top U-verse speeds of 100 Mbps. In Austin, Texas, where it competes with Time Warner Cable, AT&T is starting to deploy an all-fiber service called U-verse GigaPower that will start off with symmetrical speeds of 300 Mbps, and scale up to 1 Gbps by mid-2014, about the same time that Google Fiber is expected to begin connecting homes to its 1-Gig network there.
DSL Reports first reported Tuesday that Comcast was upgrading speeds for some bundled service customers. The report also said Comcast might upgrade customers on its 105 Mbps tier to a 305 Mbps service, but the MSO has not announced any such plans.
In its Northeast region, Comcast sells a high-speed Internet residential product called Extreme 505 that matches a 505 Mbps downstream with a 100 Mbps upstream. But rather than using the MSO’s DOCSIS architecture, Extreme 505 relies on a fiber-to-the-premises-based platform that Comcast uses to service business customers.