Comcast introduces $159 promotional rate for 2 Gbps service

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has finally revealed promotional pricing for Gigabit Pro 2 Gbps in a number of its Central Division markets, where it will offer the service for $159 a month to customers who sign a three-year contract.

Charlie Douglas, a Comcast spokesman, told FierceTelecom in an e-mail that the "$159 promo price is across our Central Division, which includes Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, Detroit, Chattanooga and in other areas like Peoria, Champaign, Knoxville, and South Bend, IN."

Douglas added that Comcast is not yet running the promotion in its Western Division, which includes Denver, San Francisco, Houston, Sacramento, and Seattle.

Regular pricing for the 2 Gbps service is $299.95 a month with a two-year contract.

Comcast's 2 Gbps service is "generally available" within one-third of a mile of its fiber network and will require custom installation of an optical network terminal (ONT) at the customer premises. The cable MSO said that service installation could require 6 to 8 weeks or more to complete.

Because each customer site will require a custom installation, Comcast will charge $500 for installation and up to $500 to activate the service. However, the activation fee could be waived with some promotions.

But Comcast isn't standing pat with its existing HFC-based services. The cable MSO is also raising the speed of its Blast! Tier from 50 Mbps to 75 Mbps with no additional charge to subscribers. In addition, it is introducing its new Extreme 150 Mbps tier.

Given the ubiquity of its HFC network, Comcast is currently testing DOCSIS 3.1 equipment that will enable it to deliver 1 Gbps across all of its markets. It expects to begin rolling out DOCSIS 3.1 early next year, a move that will enable nearly every customer in its service area to get Gbps service.

Comcast will face off against some aggressive competition in the Central market. AT&T (NYSE: T) announced that South Florida was its next target for its 1 Gbps U-verse with GigaPower service, while Atlantic Broadband began offering 1 Gbps service to its Indian Creek customers last summer, and is expanding throughout its Miami Beach service area.

For more:
- see the Comcast 2 Gbps site
- has this article
- Miami Herald has this article

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