Comcast to Double Existing Speeds for Some Users

Comcast will be doubling Internet access speeds for at least some customers, boosting the "Performance" tier from 25 to 50 Mbps, the "Blast" tier from 50 to 105 Mbps, and the "Extreme" service from 105 Mbps to 305 Mbps.

Prices will vary by local market competition and rival offers, and probably will only be available to customers who buy double or triple play packages.

Comcast isn't the only major ISP making speed investments and boosting offers for customers.Verizon Communications is doing so, as well.

By the end of fourth-quarter 2013, 46 percent of Verizon Communications consumer FiOS Internet customers subscribed to FiOS Quantum, which provides speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 500 Mbps, up from 41 percent at the end of third quarter 2013.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, 55 percent of consumer FiOS Internet sales were for speeds of at least 50 megabits per second.

The point is that, although there seems continual grousing about how slow and expensive U.S. broadband access is, that complaint is being addressed.  You can credit Google Fiber for stimulating such behavior, but history alone might have suggested speed improvements would continue.

Unbelievable though it might seem, typical access speeds have grown at about a rate you would predict, based solely on Moore's Law. That should strike you as highly improbable, given the fact that access networks, in particular fixed access networks, are construction projects. 

In 2007, Technology Futures Technology Futures made this prediction for bandwidth growth in the U.S. market, at a time when typical speeds ranged from 1.5 Mbps to 6 Mbps. If anything, the forecast seems to be turning out to be conservative. 

Broadband Households by Nominal Data Rate*
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