In recent months, we’ve tracked several announcements related to cable, data, phone providers [and Google] rolling out high-speed, fiber “gigabit speed” access to the internet. The term “gigabit speed” comes from the measurement of such speed, gigabit-per-second, or Gbps. One gigabit-per-second is about 150 times faster than what is today considered “broadband” [or, as we will start referring to as “wired broadband” to designate that it is delivered via wire and not fiber.] The announcement by Comcast in this article refers to a speed of 2 Gbps. This is twice the speed of the fiber networks we’ve previously covered. The article mentions that Comcast already delivers access to the internet to businesses at speeds up to 10 Gbps.
Comcast announced on Thursday it will offer residential 2 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) internet access service to more than 1.5 million customers in Atlanta starting in May 2015. The service, branded Gigabit Pro, will be delivered via a fiber-to-the-home solution. Service will be offered broadly across the Atlanta metro area and will be the fastest residential internet speed in the country, according to the company.
“Our approach is to offer the most comprehensive rollout of multi-gigabit service to the most homes as quickly as possible, not just to certain neighborhoods,” said Doug Guthrie, SVP of Comcast Cable’s South Region.
The service is now just limited to residential customers. It appears to be a move to defend itself against competitors like AT&T (who threatened to halt its fiber expansion plans before the FCC’s recent “net neutrality” vote, but despite losing that effort, announced on Monday plans to expand service in Silicon Valley). Comcast has a large base of small business customers in Atlanta service areas, as well. Companies like Google Fiber have started new service in a region with residential customers, but have followed up with small business services.
Gigabit Pro will be available to any home within close proximity of Comcast’s fiber network and will require an installation of professional-grade equipment. The company has fiber at the core of its network and, for the past decade, it has been extending it deeper into neighborhoods and closer to homes. To date, Comcast has built out more than 145,000 route miles of fiber across its service area.
Comcast has been delivering multi-gig (up to 10 Gbps) ethernet service to businesses since 2010. The company currently serves more than 1.5 million businesses nationwide. Earlier this month, Comcast announced a technology partnership with the Atlanta Braves to deliver multi-gigabit speeds to residences and businesses throughout the team’s new mixed use and stadium development project.