Comcast plans on bringing multi-gig internet speeds to 34 cities across the US by the end of this year and will later expand its reach to more than 50 million households by the end of 2025. According to a press release, the company has already started rolling out 2Gbps speeds — previously promised as early as 2015 — over its broadband network in Colorado Springs, CO; Augusta, GA; Panama City Beach, FL; and Philadelphia, PA.
Customers in these cities will also get to take advantage of upload speeds that Comcast says are five to 10 times faster than what it currently offers. The upload speeds appear to max out at 200Mbps, even with the new Gigabit x2 plan, but Comcast intends to change that. It’s launching multi-gig symmetrical speeds next year, which will enable multi-gig speeds for both downloads and uploads.
While symmetrical uploads and downloads are expected with fiber optic internet, cable has lagged behind. But with DOCSIS 4.0, a high-bandwidth broadband standard that allows for up to 10Gbps downloads and 6Gbps uploads, providers like Comcast can enable symmetrical connections over cable. Comcast is currently in the process of transitioning to the new standard and achieved 4Gbps upload and download speeds during a test in January.
Even though companies like AT&T, Frontier, Verizon, and Google are expanding their fiber networks, the service is still largely limited to users located in metro areas. Symmetrical speeds on cable networks could be a welcome option for those in need of a speedier connection, but who aren’t in areas where fiber is available.
For now, customers located in Colorado Springs, Augusta, Panama City Beach, and Philadelphia, won’t have to upgrade their modem to access Comcast’s faster (but not symmetrical) 2-gig speeds. Comcast Cable EVP Elad Nafshi told Fierce Telecom that once Comcast does roll out its symmetrical services next year, customers will need to upgrade their modem.
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.