Comcast has previously said that it’s working hard to upgrade its network with gigabit internet service, with plans to have it operating across the entire US by 2018. While it’s scheduled to officially launch in 2016, the telecom giant has kicked off some initial testing a bit early, with its first cable modem supporting DOCSIS 3.1 technology (“Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification”) having been activated for one lucky customer in Philadelphia.
That user in Philadelphia is now getting internet speeds up to 1Gbps, something that would normally require a fiber optic service, such as Google Fiber, or Comcast’s own 2Gbps service, which is priced at a steep $300 per month. The company notes that it is also starting to run tests in northern California, Atlanta, and Pennsylvania.
The soft launch sees Comcast making sure rival gigabit service providers, such as Google Fiber and AT&T’s GigaPower, don’t get too much of a head start in controlling the market. Comcast has previously said that its service will be available to customers in multiple parts of the country by the end of 2016, however no pricing info has been revealed yet.
Comcast’s rollout differs from Google Fiber’s process of laying new fiber connections in each city it launches in, instead they just need to upgrade their existing networks to take advantage of DOCSIS 3.1. This has the advantage of being less expensive, plus the 1Gbps service will become available to almost all existing customers.