The nation’s largest cable provider and ISP, Comcast, announced its employees are testing gigabit internet connections.
The company expects availability of gigabit service in 2016, as well as a wider rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) across its infrastructure, which is required to support the speeds. However, the speeds will only be found in select areas. It won’t be cheap, either — Comcast’s fastest internet service package is currently 505Mbps/100Mbps at $400 a month.
Comcast has also faces criticism from internet users for usage caps and is threatening to file lawsuits in an attempt to scuttle net neutrality. Its also in the process of attempting to merge with No. 2 cable and internet provider Time Warner Cable, though the FCC’s delayed the merger.
Offering gigabit internet is an attempt to meet increased competition from ISPs that utilize fiber optic connection. In contrast to Comcast’s prices, Google Fiber offers 1Gbps for both download and upload speeds for $70 a month. However, its availability is limited to seven cities.