home Broadband Comcast, AT&T launching faster Xfinity Gigabit internet service

Comcast, AT&T launching faster Xfinity Gigabit internet service

Comcast and AT&T are now promising gigabit-speed broadband service to much of Bloomington, but the way each internet service provider do so will be very different.

The Wednesday night news of Comcast’s statewide Xfinity Gigabit service came just hours before AT&T announced its Internet 1000 launch in Bloomington and other Indiana markets. While both companies look to elevate Bloomington to gigabit speeds, AT&T will use a 100 percent fiber system and Comcast will provide the same speeds over an existing system that’s a hybrid of fiber and coaxial cable.

Image result for comcastBoth announcements this week come at a time when the city of Bloomington is investigating a citywide fiber infrastructure through the Canadian company Axia.

 “This is still a trial and we’re going to be watching this closely, but it’s something we’re already proud of because we’ve already tested this in other places,” said Mike Wilson, public relations director for Comcast in Indiana. Indiana is the fifth state to be included in the trial. “Geographically, this is a significant release because we don’t just do big towns. It’s the ubiquity aspect of it that I think is so great about this.”

Comcast characterized its gigabit services as fast enough to download a 5 gigabyte high definition movie in 40 seconds, a 15 gigabyte video game in 2 minutes, a 150 megabyte digital media player (MP3) album in less than 2 seconds and a 600 megabyte television episode in 4 seconds.

Comcast is also reported to be accumulating rights to offer channels nationwide. Comcast has acquired rights through clauses in existing contracts or as part of broader carriage negotiations with programming providers. Even if it does not market a nationwide service, the cable company needs to be able compete with the flexibility offered by online services.

Comcast already controls NBCUniversal, but long-term deals with ABC and CBS would need to be renewed. Given its scale, Comcast should be in a strong position to extend current contracts.

This could enable Comcast to offer services in major markets like New York and Los Angeles, which are outside the cable footprint of its existing franchises.

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James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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