Comcast’s recent speed boosts now go beyond the top end. The cable company is improving speeds for the majority of its Xfinity packages throughout the United States. The entry-level Performance Starter (aka Connect) plan is increasing from 50Mbps to 75Mbps, while regular Performance (Connect More) subscribers are increasing from 100Mbps to 200Mbps. Performance Pro/Fast service will increase from 300Mbps to 400Mbps, while Blast/Superfast consumers will get 800Mbps instead of 600Mbps. Furthermore, you no longer need Comcast’s most expensive plans to get gigabit speeds – Extreme Pro and Ultrafast (now Gigabit) users have been upgraded from 900Mbps to 1Gbps.
For many consumers, the flagship Gigabit Extra/x2 package still offers 1.2Gbps. Comcast is now expanding its 2Gbps service to other states and, in certain situations, provides 6Gbps connectivity. The telco intends to serve over 50 million households and workplaces with 2Gbps by the end of 2025, and in the future, it plans to provide “10G” and next-generation DOCSIS 4.0 service.
In most situations, these improvements aren’t huge, but they might make a difference at the lower end by allowing higher-quality streaming and improved service for multi-person homes. The difficulty, of course, is that competitors are not idle. AT&T is building 2Gbps and 5Gbps fiber to dozens of cities, while Google Fiber will soon provide 8Gbps service in addition to resuming growth. Although Comcast is more competitive, it does not always provide the quickest alternatives.
The increased entry-level salary may potentially irritate regulators. Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC Chairwoman, has suggested expanding the definition of broadband to 100Mbps. That new aim would be unattainable for a Performance Starter or Connect client. If that baseline is implemented, Comcast will have to raise speeds again to satisfy the Commission and contribute to the Commission’s aim of enhancing internet access for rural and low-income Americans.