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The Twin Cities are the lucky guinea pigs for Comcast's new high-speed internet

Verizon's FiOS fiber broadband connection is currently the only option for United States Internet surfers to wander about the world wide web while downloading content at up to 50 Mbps and uploading data at up to 20 Mbps. However, Verizon's FiOS service is limited to a few areas at this time, even though roll-out is being performed slowly but surely.

Recently, Comcast also announced plans to increase the maximum bandwidth of its broadband service to 50 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload bandwidth to compete with Verizon.

Currently, Comcast is running its broadband service aalong the DOCSIS 2.0 protocol, or the second generation of the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications. This protocol tops out with a maximum downstream bandwidth of 42.88 Mbps while the maximum upstream bandwidth tops out at 30.72 Mbps.

For Comcast to increase its bandwidth, it will have to begin using DOCSIS 3.0 compliant hardware. The initial DOCSIS 3.0 specs will utilize four channels over cable; which allows the compatible hardware to serve twice the amount of data per second than DOCSIS 2.0's dual channel design.

Through the 4-channel design, DOCSIS 3.0 compliant hardware will allow a maximum of 170 Mbps and 123 Mbps downstream and upstream bandwidth respectively. To achieve this higher bandwidth, Comcast must upgrade its back-end infrastructure to to hardware complaint with DOCSIS 3.0 and must also provide upgrades to customers' leased modems or offer new hardware that is capable of supporting DOCSIS 3.0.

The high-bandwidth options from Comcast are in trial in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota but Comcast states it will begin mass rollout once the design has been finalized and ready for use over its nationwide infrastructure, which Comcast's president of marketing and product development states may be by 2010.

Meanwhile, Verizon has brought its fiber-based broadband connection to a number of markets in the U.S. If Comcast goes through with these speed increases, we may hopefully see some long-awaited price wars in the broadband industry.

Pricing for the 50/20 Mbps download/upload package is stated around $150 and is only planned for the residential market. Business owners may have the option for a higher-bandwidth package in the future, however, no pricing information has been made available at this time.

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RE: Nice
By Souka on 4/3/2008 4:53:13 PM , Rating: 5
well this could help with ping.

On congested networks, packets are delayed resulting in ping.

By having a overall higher throughput capability, you're less likely to have congestion along the datapath, resulting in better pings.

Now... if you're already getting 10-25ms ping... don't expect much, but users that often experience higher pings during the peak hours may see some relief.

My $.02

RE: Nice
By therealnickdanger on 4/3/2008 5:00:55 PM , Rating: 1
Good point. I'm typically under 30 in most games, so it's not like I've got a problem, but I'd just like to see a big breakthrough someday...

RE: Nice
By Ananke on 4/3/2008 5:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds so promising, just DTech forgot to mension pricing /see Reuters/, which is whoping $179 :). Really thrilling service, eventually they will upgrade the regular service pricing too :) if they can. I hope ONE DAY Verizon be able to deliver FiOS here, in the Silicon Valley. Can you believe, in the heart of digital industry, only providers are Comcast /cable/ and ATT dsl /which also saw recent price upgrade :)/. This is what I call oligopoly, it is almost as worse as at the Soviet Union time ago :)
Viva la corporate democratic spirit..../sarcastic/

RE: Nice
By epsilonparadox on 4/3/2008 6:44:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you clicked on the link, you'd see that it was a $150/month offering not $180. I agree with you with FIOS tho. FIOS offers a similar service of 30Mbps down/15Mbps up for $160/month which IMO is a better deal. I wish I didn't have to deal with the wannabe FIOS in Uverse but its a lot better that Road Runner.

RE: Nice
By Alexstarfire on 4/4/2008 1:50:36 AM , Rating: 2
How is being slower and more expensive a better deal?

RE: Nice
By JSK on 4/4/2008 2:43:47 AM , Rating: 3
Some people value uploads a lot more than downloads.

Being a heavy bittorrent user I would much rather have the FIOS deal for $10 more.

Maybe that is his reasoning.

RE: Nice
By Alexstarfire on 4/4/2008 8:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
Since when is a 15Mbps upload bigger than a 20Mbps upload though? FIOS was 30Mbps/15Mbps for $160 and this new service is supposed to be 50Mbps/20Mbps for $150. It beats FIOS in every respect according to the specs and pricing.

RE: Nice
By SandmanWN on 4/4/2008 8:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
unless youve been completely oblivious to what comcast has been doing recently. if you actually used that 50mb for more than a few moments you would get throttled to 2mb. not to mention spending all that money on a 50" television and HD cable only to get degraded crappy signal for all that money you just spent making it look worse than an up converted dvd.

sounds like a superior product to me. [/sarcasm]

RE: Nice
By Alexstarfire on 4/5/2008 11:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
Do you even read what you type? Just spouting off crap doesn't prove your point. I can't really comment on any throttling that may or may not occur on a 50Mb line from Comcast as I don't have speeds anywhere near that. I do know that my 6Mb line doesn't get throttled though. BitTorrent is messed up obviously, but if I max out my line downloading a game demo or something off a website, it stays that way the whole time. In fact, I can usually go faster than a 6Mb should allow. I should technically only be able to get 768KBps, but that doesn't include overhead, and I can top out over 800KBps. Actually, for the most part I don't even get that low when I'm downloading stuff off the internet. Thanks to "PowerBoost" I'm usually getting stuff at over 1MBps. Granted that's only for like the first 10 MB or something, but unless I'm downloading a game patch or demo I rarely exceed the file size limit for "PowerBoost."

And what did I ever mention about TV service? I personally don't have an HDTV, and probably won't even have one by the time this service is available, even if it comes out after the projected 2010 date. I wouldn't even dream of getting Comcast for TV service, let alone HD TV service. I'd actually prefer to have DirectTV service as they have better DVRs than our current service, Dish Network. I'm guessing it's that way simply because of patents or something, as there is no reason for the Dish DVR to not do everything the DirectTV DVR does.

Anyways, I think what Comcast is doing to BitTorrent and P2P clients sucks and would gladly switch services if we could, but it's either Comcast or dial-up for us. The choice is obvious. Anyways, since this new service is coming out in 2010 or later it's quite irrelevant. By then they shouldn't be restricting BitTorrent anymore. Or, at least that's what they say.

RE: Nice
By SandmanWN on 4/6/2008 2:14:00 AM , Rating: 2
i love it. you dont have the service yet you feel perfectly justified in telling someone else that you 'think' one or the other should be better.

i dont need to spout off crap, im experiencing it first hand. I hit some magical total download number 2 months ago and now Im getting constantly monitored by a circuit from one of their core routers thats beating away at my firewall. Ive gotten threatening telephone calls from comcast reps threatening to drop my service. now with the recent TV signal reductions the overly expensive HD I pay a butt load of money for looks crappier than an up converted DVD.

Dont get me started on this powerboost crap. Its the same garbage that the telephone companies were pushing before they went the way of the dinosaur. Its a crappy cache program thats a lame attempt to make people think things are faster when the truth is they've been sitting on their duffs. Now that competition is here suddenly they've revived the race. Supposedly on their word we should have been at 100Mb by next year. Where are we now? Most people do good to get a 6Mb service outside of any major city. Now they are talking this 50Mb crap, pff. They'll do decent to get 25Mb in just a handful of cities by then.

Comcast needs to stop bad mouthing the FCC and start upgrading their worthless network. And why are you even remotely trying to defend these people? You have some sort of monetary backing that would cause you to defend a company that would terminate service to people whos only form of high speed internet is cable and they get terminated and left with nothing because they actually used the bandwidth that they signed up and paid good money for? WTF...

RE: Nice
By Alexstarfire on 4/6/2008 4:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I was going purely off of specs and pricing. I obviously can't go off of experience since the 50Mb service from Comcast isn't out yet, so I guess it's just more crap from you since you obviously couldn't have had it either. Sucks that you have a download cap, but I've never hit one and I've downloaded well over 100GB some months. I couldn't say exactly since I don't usually keep track. I'd say it got close to 200GB if not over.

As for "PowerBoost," how is it going be be in a cache? I highly doubt they cache EVERYTHING you know. I know that sometimes it does that depending on what I get. It's usually the things that I redownload that make it seem obvious, like when a 20MB file finished instantly. I know it's not my browser since I have the cache set to only a few MB. On most files though it seems obvious that it works like it should. Even if it is cached, which is doubtful, it sure isn't caching it on any computer in this house. If it's caching it to the modem then whatever, still means faster DLs for me which equates to a shorter wait.

I think you're just pissed at Comcast cause they screwed you over. Hell, I would be to.

RE: Nice
By SandmanWN on 4/7/2008 10:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
Reading specs? Check the fine print. "up to", dependent on time of day and network traffic, unspecified caps...

The point of cache isn't to hold everything. If you had an inkling or insight here you might have a clue. Network caching is designed to capture the mostly common items in cache boxes around the network for quick access. The software on your local machine is nothing more than local cache that bloats your system and eats resources, hence yoru 20MB instantly being downloaded. Its more bloat ware. You can accomplish the same thing by adjusting the cache on your web browser and getting a real download client. Get a clue moron.

RE: Nice
By inperfectdarkness on 4/4/2008 8:53:49 AM , Rating: 1
fuck paying over $100/month. 15Mbps with FIOS costs $50/month. THAT'S where comcast needs to start aiming. give me a better value--and something actually availble to me in my area (heh, imagine that, fios...); and i'll buy it straight up.

it's like video cards...sure there's a $600 flagship card--but most buyers are looking in the $150-$250 range. i guarantee i'll be the first to hop on board of faster comcast service when i can. i've had it with AT&T; and verizion is determined never to bring FIOS to my area. i just REALLY can't stand to share a lousy 1.5 Mbps with the other 4 dozen homes in my neighborhood.

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