back to article Comcast: Google, we'll see your 1Gbps fiber and DOUBLE IT

So soon after Google promised Atlanta, Georgia, gigabit broadband, Comcast has said it will offer 2Gbps internet to homes in the city in May – and millions more Americans by 2016. The US cable colossus announced Thursday that its 2Gb/s Gigabit Pro service will debut in Atlanta, reaching 18 million homes across the US by the …

  1. phil dude
    Megaphone

    sarcastic comment...

    "If they would only announce it in $MYCITY then $LOCAL_MONOPOLY would offer it too".

    Seriously, I keep getting physical spam from ATT for 6 Mbps ADSL...

    This is a campus, with 100 Gbps to ORNL supercomputers...

    WTF?

    P.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      (Additional!) sarcastic comment...

      "Seriously, I keep getting physical spam from ATT for 6 Mbps ADSL..."

      You're actually lucky. By the time Comcast is done throttling their 2 gigabit service, it will actually offer about 6 Mbps! :)

    2. PleebSmash
      Boffin

      Re: sarcastic comment...

      Am I doing the math wrong or is there a lot less throughput for traffic than we think?

      Cisco: By 2018, global IP traffic will reach 131.6 exabytes per month.

      131.6 EB / (30.4375 * 24 * 60 * 60) = ~50.04 TB per second.

      Which is ~40 million saturated 10 Mbps connections.

      Or ~4 million @ 100 Mbps, or 400k @ 1 Gbps.

      So in 2018, about 40 million people globally can get 1.25 MB (roughly a floppy) in one second. That's an average for the whole month (actually derived from 1.6 zettabytes a year) so it could be higher at times, but it still seems very constrained.

      Also, there will be about 3.6 billion Internet users and 7.47 billion global population in 2018, so 40 million is ~1% of the world's Internet users. If 25% or 900 million are online, they are using 55.6 KB per second average.

      1. Ruairi

        Re: sarcastic comment...

        > 131.6 EB / (30.4375 * 24 * 60 * 60) = ~50.04 TB per second.

        There are orgs doing 50Tbit/sec already. Today. Single orgs (They're single digits, but they exist). I'd say that we're already beyond 400Tbit/sec on the global backbone.

        1. PleebSmash

          Re: sarcastic comment...

          Ok, so CERN, Square Kilometer Array etc. have their own big traffic numbers, clearly not counted in Cisco's numbers. It still seems like the backbone can't take on too many gigabit users anytime soon.

          And if you manage to saturate your gigabit connection, you're temporarily representing 1/50,000 of the global IP traffic circa 2018 (key word being temporarily).

      2. Def Silver badge

        Re: sarcastic comment...

        Am I doing the math wrong or is there a lot less throughput for traffic than we think?

        The math is right. How many people do you know who are downloading at maximum speed 24/7? I have a 75Mb fibre connection at home. 99.9% of the time it's close to idle. My mail is checked once every few minutes. Running software will check for updates, what, once a day. When I'm at work, I have Remote Desktop open, which still doesn't stress the line.

        In fact, the most traffic my line sees is probably from when some remote web server is slow and I pop on to speedtest.net to check whether the problem is at my end.

        1. PleebSmash

          Re: sarcastic comment...

          Split the traffic 400 million ways (~11% of all Internet users in 2018), and that's 125 KB/s (in 2018). It's meagre.

      3. wayward4now

        Re: sarcastic comment...

        Suppose the government quit stealing bandwidth in their surveillance activities, how much bandwidth would we get then?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Comcast did not admit what the Gigabit Pro service will cost per month, and what installation fees users may incur for having a fiber line installed.

    Or how much of your privacy they will rape you for.

  3. Justin Pasher

    Marketing fluff?

    (note: I don't use Comcast, so I don't know their physical infrastructure)

    Why the bump to 2Gbps, aside from a one-upsmanship towards Google? To fully benefit, I assume this means you'll have to use the ISP supplied router, since running such a device in bridge mode will basically lock you down to 1Gbps (how many people have 10Gbps interfaces at home?). Additionally, so many people do things over wireless nowadays (laptops, cell phones, tablets), you'll still have a bigger bottleneck there.

    Do they just want to say "Hey, our number is twice as big, so we are twice as fast!" (although past comments from Comcast users seem to indicate the ISP throttling will bring it down much lower)?

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Marketing fluff?

      Don't be silly. The router will be supplied with fast ethernet ports and EVERYBODY knows that's fast enough.

      (so you can connect 20 devices to the 4 ports on the device)

    2. Tom Samplonius

      Re: Marketing fluff?

      "Why the bump to 2Gbps, aside from a one-upsmanship towards Google? To fully benefit, I assume this means you'll have to use the ISP supplied router, since running such a device in bridge mode will basically lock you down to 1Gbps..."

      It will be based on GPON, and the ONT (optical network terminal) box will likely have as many as 4 x GBE ports. So you won't be able to get all 2 Gbps via a single ethernet port, but it will be there. The ONT may be bridged or routed. As a cable operator, Comcast probably prefers bridged, as that is how DOCSIS works.

      What is interesting, is that 2.5 Gbps is the maximum performance of a single GPON port. I wonder how many homes will be put on each port. The technology supports a maximum of 64.

      Also the shared uplink is only 1.25 Gbps per GPON port, so this 2 Gbps service will not be symmetrical. Probably will be 2 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up.

  4. Crazy Operations Guy

    But what about data caps?

    Sure you get 2 Gbps, but how much of that can you use before they cut you off? 250 GB goes pretty quickly on a connection like that...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Their linked page makes interesting reading:

    "We’ve consistently offered the most speeds to the most homes, but with the current pace of tech innovation, sometimes you need to go to where the world is headed and not focus on where it is today."

    I suppose 512k would be the "most speeds" (highest speeds surely?) if you have no real competition. It's hardly a ringing endorsement.

    1. GBE

      The most speeds.

      "We’ve consistently offered the most speeds to the most homes"

      Since it's Comcast, god only knows what they mean by that. Comcast probably doesn't, and wouldn't admit it if they did.

      Perhaps they are being literal, and they offer the largest number of tariff options. There's a long tradition in advertising of bragging about stuff that's true but doesn't matter (it's even better if it sounds like it matters).

      Perhaps they mean they offer higer speeds than their competitors. In most Comcast markets, they offer up to 20-30Mbps. The competition is almost always the local phone company flogging ADSL that maxes out at 3-7Mbps).

      I've been a Comcast broadband customer for a few years, and they do a decent job of shifting packets to/from the internet and seem happy enough to let me use my own mode. But, nobody in their right mind would depend on them for email, DNS, or anything else.

      Where I've live, we've got a third option: municipal WiFi, but it maxed out (theoretically) at 3Mbps. I tried to use that for a few years, and it was miserable. It worked (mostly) in one neighborhood I lived in, but typically ran at 1-1.3 Mbps. After I moved to a different neighborhood, it often didn't work at all in the evenings.

  6. Gene Cash Silver badge
    FAIL

    Competition? Not really...

    From people I have talked to in Austin, TX, they carve the city up on a block-by-block basis. AT&T "serves" these blocks, Google gets this chunk, Comcast gets another area, and the local gigabit guys get what's left over.

    For any particular house/apartment, you have one and only one gigabit provider.

    Some "competition"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd rather have 1 gigabit and not have to deal with Comcast. It doesn't matter how tasty the poison is, it's still poison

    1. circusmole
      Unhappy

      Likewise.

      I get a majestic 16Mbs from Comcast cable at my US home and I would gladly accept half that speed from an alternative supplier. Comcast has a monopoly in my area and I have no choice but to deal with them :-(

      1. OldCrow

        Re: Likewise.

        I get along with 10Mbps 3G connection. Shared by all my computers.

        Got it when moving last time, since I figured'd have to wait at least 2 months to get a cable. But I never got cable even ordered before I had to move across the country again. So glad I decided on the cheapest option.

        13e/month (approx. $15 USD) plus the cost of 3G dongle and SOHO router (300e).

        Had to choose between the 3 companies (in the whole country) offering 3G.

        Finally settled based on who had least strings attached to the deal.

  8. joed

    but at what cost

    because $ matter.

    don't feed the troll Comcast

  9. John Geek

    around here (on the left coast of north america), the absolute fastest Comcarp could give me was 30Mbps/5Mbps. better than 6M/700k ADSL sure, but the funny thing is, stuff ike youtube, netflix throttles all the time (yet speedtest always says its a clear 30/5).

  10. Dwarf Silver badge
    Holmes

    Nothing to see here

    Someone in marketing just learned that there is a down AND up channel, so it's 2 x 1Gbps

    After all there is no 2Gbps physical standard that I know of, it's 1 or 10Gbps only.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Nothing to see here

      "Someone in marketing just learned"

      I think that's good news.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Nothing to see here

      Comcast has learned from the best:

      TP-Link 200Mbps switch

      D-Link 200Mbps switch

      Fuckers, all of them, preying on the uninformed.

  11. Banksy
    Trollface

    In before the "I only get 56k where I live, why do you hate me BT/Virgin" comments.

  12. CarbonLifeForm

    I've had both AT&T Uverse ( fiber ADSL basically) and Comcast cable broadband now.

    They're roughly equally cr@ppy, though Uverse was more predictable. Since Comcast's connections are divided up in a neighborhood among x subscribers, and Uverse's are dedicated, Comcast's broadband numbers are misleading. Their FUD is broadcast constantly as they tout their higher numbers on adverts.

  13. -tim

    2 gig is far behind the curve.

    Google's stuff in Kanas City is lots of different technologies since it is an R&D project. All of them can do faster than 1Gig up/1Gig down. A friend plugged his google fiber link (which was supposed to go into his google device) into a 10g ethernet switch and it was getting proper packets. From what I can tell, they are running up to 10 x 100 gig links to each node and then that node is doing 1 gig ether or 10 gig ether or xPON or whatever as last mile. The basic fiberhood had 2 parallel 100 gig connections to 4 nearest and maybe 2 additional long haul connections far away. That is just a guess based on what I've seen in of their gear and packet traces.

  14. Brandon 2

    great... so i can hit my 300Gb cap in about 4 hours... super... only $10 per 50Gb after that. I love being in the "Atlanta test market"... especially since I have no other option for broadband where I live (just north in the Marietta area).

  15. fishman

    Half truths, etc

    1) You will have to deal with Comcast customer support

    2) Netflix will still only be a 2 to 2.5 Mbs feed, and will still stall

    3) You will get the rated speed only at 3am.

    4) Caps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Half truths, etc

      I'll correct point 3 for you

      3) You will get the rated speed only at 3am, on a Sunday, in the middle of a power outage. (normal service will be resumed at 3:01)

  16. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    I'll believe it when I see it

    I'll believe it when I see it.... there've been cases time and again here in the US where some area has either only cable, only DSL, or both, but a 3rd party is going to move in and break up their monopoly or duopoly. Either the cable or DSL provider says "don't bother, we'll roll out (1.5x-2x the 3rd party's speed) service anyway." What do you know, "mysteriously" that higher speed service from the DSL or cable provide never actually materializes, or it covers like 1 or 2 city blocks so they can claim for marketing purposes that they rolled out the service.

    That said, my main interest is LOWER COSTS, not higher speeds! The cable and DSL providers here both offer like 6 or 12 month promotional price then a MASSIVE price hike.. usually they require bundling with TV or (landline, not cell phone!) phone service too, or even "triple play" (internet/home phone/TV) to get this price. Absurdly, the duopoly pricing here is so poor that it actually will cost me LESS to get satellite internet service!

  17. ADRM

    4 High Speed Cable Providers in my town plus a wireless provider

    I thank myself everyday since there are 4 high speed providers in my NW Indianapolis metro area town. Comcast of course claiming to be the fastest yet they are slower than everyone else. AT&T Uverse who are the second fastest internet provider with fiber to the curb but not up the driveway. Finally Metronet which I have with 100mbs down and 30mbs up fiber to the house for $80 a month.. I only have phone and internet. If I had TV too I could get 200mbs down. Yes they do 1GBs down for $300 a month. The 4th provider is the local utility co who cross sells the fiber from Metronet and also provide a wireless service for those off the grid.I laugh at the Comcrap commercials as the provider I have is so superior. The TV on Metronet is good quality HD too. Of course most punters will choose the TV, Phone and Internet options, but I don't need the TV preferring HD off air so I have the home phone and Internet and watch TV online Netflix, Hulu, BBC, CH4 etc.

    When I first got High Speed Internet instead of Dial Up it was with Insight and it was 10/1. Comacast (sic) bought them out and we got 15/5. Uverse came along promising fiber to the curb and we got loads of HD TV, home phone with free long distance and like 5 cents a min to phone my Mother in England. We were at 30/10 and were being throttled when I was at work doing VOIP tech support. Work would not pay for the full business rate so we could not complain.We changed to Metronet once they had wired up the area in 2012. All they have done is speed up the service for pennies in price difference. Now I am no longer working due to a bad heart but the internet speed I have is awesome.

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