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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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WOW! That's expensive
By d1nn0 on 4/3/2008 5:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
Here in Montreal the local cable provider Videotron already offers 50 Mbps since last year.
And it's half cheaper -
* Download speed of 50 Mbps and upload speed of 1 Mbps
* More than 7 times faster than high-speed Internet (7 Mbps)
* Monthly data transfer capacity of 50 GB combined (upload and download)

The monthly limit of 50 GB is annoying but if you need more - go for the 10 Mbps package (100 GB monthly combined transfer).

RE: WOW! That's expensive
By lagitup on 4/3/2008 7:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
And here I was getting ready to play games AND download pr0n at the SAME TIME!!! And then it hit me. Montreal is in canada. Just another demonstration of how craptastic broadband in the USA is. (quest "1.5mb/s" @ $35/month x.x my ping is *never* below 60, generally around 100 )= )

RE: WOW! That's expensive
By MrDiSante on 4/3/2008 7:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
... Take a look at broadband in Toronto (Canada) - Rogers (the cable company) has been throttling bittorent for years and is now starting to throttle encrypted traffic. Bell (DSL) and smaller companies which lease Bell's lines used to have decent bittorent until Bell announced that it would be throttling not only bittorent on their lines, but on the lines that it leases to other companies as well.
Furthermore, Bell offers a maximum of 16mbps for 90$ for 1/2 of Toronto. The rest have to take 7mpbs for 50$. Rogers offers a maximum of 18 mbps for 100$. Both are capped at ~100 gigs. Also, please note that Toronto is the biggest city in Canada, with the greatest population density.

RE: WOW! That's expensive
By Hieyeck on 4/3/2008 10:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
And now, Rogers is placing hard caps on bandwidth - anything over the alotted bandwidth and you're paying for it. At the top speed, it's $1.25 per gig; my rate (the 2nd package) $1.50, and it just keeps going up from there. for their cheapest package, it's $5 per gig over.

Hello Teksavvy and multilink PPP.

RE: WOW! That's expensive
By mikefarinha on 4/4/2008 10:49:48 AM , Rating: 2
Just another demonstration of how craptastic broadband in the USA is.

Hey I live in Northern California(Sacramento area) and am paying for 10Mb/10Mb FiOS from a local company called Surewest. It's $65/month after the first year contract deal. I've had it for the past 4 years now, great stuff!

RE: WOW! That's expensive
By 3v1lkr0w on 4/4/2008 6:00:25 AM , Rating: 2
80 dollars a month for 50 Mbps and it has a cap??? WTF!!! We need to catch up to Japan, I was living in Japan for 3 years and had fiber internet for 69 dollars a month, then got it upgraded to Gig Fiber for 80 dollars a month, with no cap. We really need to stop playing this game of catch up so slowly...

By lobadobadingdong on 4/6/2008 12:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
2 words

Population Density

RE: WOW! That's expensive
By FITCamaro on 4/4/2008 7:42:15 AM , Rating: 1
Yes but if you need upload speed, FiOS is way better. Upload is really what you're paying for. Could they offer packages that stress the download more than the upload though? Of course.

I really hope to move to an area that has FiOS in the next few years. I'll be happy with the standard 15-20Mbps down and 1-2Mbps up.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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