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Comcast leapfrogs Google Fiber with new 2Gbps internet service

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Rollout begins in Atlanta next month and will reach 18 million American homes by the end of the year

One way to answer critics and competitors alike is to simply do better, and for once Comcast is doing exactly that. The US cable giant is today announcing a new 2Gbps broadband service, which it will start rolling out in Atlanta from next month. There's no price yet, but Comcast says it will be symmetrical — meaning you'll upload just as quickly as you can download — and it won't be limited "just to certain neighborhoods."

Bringing fiber right to your home

Doug Guthrie, Senior VP of Comcast Cable’s South Region, explains that the company's "approach is to offer the most comprehensive rollout of multi-gigabit service to the most homes as quickly as possible." That's in stark contrast to what Comcast was saying just a couple of years ago, when it dismissed Google's Fiber efforts as being excessive for most people's needs.

To get connected, you'll need to be "within close proximity" of Comcast's fiber network and accept the installation of "professional-grade" equipment. That should hint at the likely high cost of Comcast's new offering, which can be interpreted as a residential extension of the multi-gigabit service that it already offers to businesses across the United States.

Comcast plans to expand to other cities beyond Atlanta and will cover as many as 18 million American homes by the end of 2015. For much broader gigabit coverage, the company also says it's working on a 1Gbps service — matching the speed of Google Fiber — for 2016, which it says will be able to connect "almost every customer in our footprint."

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