Market Insight

Comcast offers ultra-fast FTTH connection to residential customers

October 01, 2012

Alzbeta Fellenbaum Alzbeta Fellenbaum Manager – Research and Analysis, Service Providers & Platforms

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Comcast Corp., the leading telecommunications services provider in the United States, has launched a new high-speed residential broadband service with a maximum downstream speed of 305 Mbps and a potential 65 Mbps upstream using fiber-to-the-home, rather than its customary DOCSIS 3.0, technology. The service is offered to residential customers in the Northeast U.S., including metro areas of Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Richmond, VA, and Hartford, CN for a monthly cost of $299.95 USD. The offer is targeted to directly compete with Verizon's Quantum FiOS service, which offers similar speeds.

The new tier is offered as Xfinity Extreme 305 to residential customers based within the reach of Comcast's Metro Ethernet platform, which is used to deliver fiber broadband to mid-sized level businesses. For other high-speed services, such as the Extreme 105 Mbps residential broadband offer, Comcast continues to use DOCSIS 3.0 technology.

It appears Comcast is utilizing its business customer platform to test the demand for the ultra-fast product while such demand is still just emerging. The company does not seem to be planning to modify the capacity or capabilities of its existing DOCSIS 3.0 infrastructure, but the offer acknowledges the change in residential internet usage, with households increasingly shifting towards simultaneous consumption of content on multiple devices. In addition, Comcast will not impose usage caps on the service and offers it unlimited, while it is currently applying a 300GB monthly usage cap on its other broadband offers and is testing scaling of data allowances up to 600GB cap in some of its markets (Nashville, TN, and Tucson, AZ). Nevertheless, given the quite pricey tag that comes with this service (in comparison, Verizon's FiOS offer is $204.99 USD/month), customers may be hesitant in taking up the offer.

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