Verizon (NYSE: VZ) may have ignited a new broadband speed war last month with their Quantum FiOS offering, one that includes a 300/65 Mbps speed tier, but now it appears that Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is ready to take the telco on with its own 300 Mbps-plus offering.
According to a Broadband DSL Reports article that cites unnamed sources, the cable MSO is going to serve up a 305 Mbps tier before the end of this year in existing FiOS markets.
Neil Smit, CEO of Comcast Cable Communications, talked about the new tier being available "soon" as part of a discussion about future Xfinity data service plans during an employee event held last week.
However, neither Smit nor Comcast revealed a date when the higher-speed offering would be available.
Of course, the other question is what upstream speeds will Comcast offer? Last year, the MSO conducted upstream bonding tests that showed how it could deliver 75-100 Mbps.
The timing of Comcast's 305 Mbps tier comes at a time when consumer groups and the Department of Justice continue to protest the MSO's marketing and wireless spectrum deal. The groups believe that the agreement will inhibit the ability for these two service providers to compete with each other.
Although it's not clear if the marketing agreement is what's driving Comcast to develop a new higher speed tier, Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo reiterated in the Q2 2012 earnings call that they would be upping the prices of FiOS service again.
The service provider justified the pending price hikes for the Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) service due to a decline in new FiOS subscribers. During the second quarter, the service provider reported that FiOS TV subscribers grew by 120,000 down from the 184,000 it added in the same period a year ago, while adding only 134,000 FiOS broadband data subscribers versus 189,000 in 2011.
- Broadband DSL Reports has this article
Will Verizon's new speed tiers, bundled options make cable jump?
Quantum sticker shock: Is my Verizon quadruple play worth $400 a month?
Verizon unveils prices for its new FiOS Quantum FTTP service lineup
Verizon positions data speeds atop the FiOS bundles pile