Comcast Offers 105-Meg Internet To 40 Million Homes

Comcast's Extreme 105 service, one of the fastest residential broadband offerings in the U.S. with download speeds of up to 105 Megabits per second, is now available to 40 million households or approximately 80% of the operator's footprint.

Markets where Extreme 105 is now available include San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Chicago, Miami, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and the majority of Boston.

The 40 million households that can get Extreme 105 is up from about 25 million at the end of September 2010. 
Since soft-launching it last summer, Comcast has not actively marketed
the 105-Meg tier but now is touting that it's enabling the fastest Internet access to the largest number of Americans.

"This speed tier continues to expand our portfolio of Internet service offerings and takes them up to a whole new level," Comcast senior vice president and general manager of communications and data services Cathy Avgiris said in a statement. "With it, we're powering the digital home of the future, where entire families using multiple devices -- laptops, gaming consoles, tablets, smartphones -- can all take advantage of high-bandwidth applications simultaneously ensuring they each have a great online experience."

Comcast is still testing out pricing for Extreme 105, initially offering it for an introductory price of $105 per month for 12 months when bundled with cable TV and voice services. That makes it only $5 more than Extreme 50, at $99.95 per month, so existing customers of the 50-Mbps tier are likely candidates to upgrade. Both tiers are delivered via the same standard DOCSIS 3.0 infrastructure.

Extreme 105 also is available on a standalone basis for $199.95 per month.

The service, which provides 10-Mbps uploads, comes with a wireless home networking gateway. With 105 Mbps downloads, Comcast estimates, a user can download a 4-Gigabyte HD movie in about 5 minutes, compared with 1.5 hours with 6 Mbps service.

However, in Verizon's FiOS markets, the telco still has bragging rights. Last fall Verizon debuted a FiOS Internet package that provides 150 Mbps downstream priced at about $200 per month.

Other cable operator services breaking the 100-Meg barrier with DOCSIS 3.0-based broadband include Cablevision Systems' 101 Mbps Optimum Online Ultra ($84.95 or $104.95 per month depending on bundle options) and Suddenlink Communications' 107-Mbps tier (available in limited markets, is $107 per month bundled with TV or phone).

Comcast's 250 GB monthly data-usage cap applies to the 105 Mbps service. Currently, customers receive a warning if they exceed the limit and repeat offenders may be disconnected.

Comcast, the largest U.S. provider of wireline broadband, had 16.99 million high-speed Internet customers at the end of 2010.