Comcast next week is expected to announce plans to raise its broadband Internet speeds for all customers by at least a third later this year, according to sources familiar with the plans.
The nation’s largest cable company and broadband provider will raise its current speed of up to 3mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 256kbps (kilobits per second) upstream to 4mbps and 384kbps, respectively, at no additional cost. Comcast will also offer its more expensive 4mbps customers a 50 percent increase to 6mbps downstream and 768kbps upstream, the sources said.
Comcast has upgraded its speed as part of an overall effort not only to distance itself from slower DSL (digital subscriber line) services but to add more high-bandwidth features, such as video e-mail, for its Comcast.net subscribers.
Other cable companies have taken similar steps to raise their speeds. In December, Time Warner Cable decided to raise its basic download speed to 5mbps from 3mbps for free. Months earlier, Cox Communications said it would raise its speed limit from 3mbps to 4mbps.