Comcast is now offering its gigabit Internet service in the Atlanta area to compete with Google Fiber, but in reality, it’s unfortunately not really much competition at all. For starters, Comcast is offering the service at $70 per month, which matches the Internet-only Google Fiber package, but you must signup for a restrictive three-year contract to secure that pricing.
But the hits don’t stop there — if you forgo the three-year contract, you’ll pay a more princely $139.95 per month AND face monthly 300GB data caps. We hate to say it, but gigabit Internet service with a relatively low 300GB data cap (or any data cap at all for that matter) seems incredibly harsh when you’re paying $140 a month for Internet-only service.
Comcast will remove that bandwidth cap if you pay an additional $35 per month. So if you don’t want to be tied down for three years, and want a really comparable service to Google Fiber, you’re looking at $175 per month, which may be a tough pill to swallow for potential customers.
We should also mention that since Comcast’s gigabit Internet service is based on DOCSIS 3.1, its upload speeds are limited to just 35Mbps, whereas Google Fiber is symmetrical 1Gbps.
"Our Atlanta customers will be among the first in the world to enjoy this new Gigabit technology, and we’re looking forward to learning more from these early adopters about how they take advantage of these ultra-fast speeds," said Comcast Central Division President Bill Connors. "The capabilities of DOCSIS 3.1 are incredibly exciting, and we are the first to market with a Gigabit offering that runs over our existing cable infrastructure."
We should point out that Comcast considers its $70/month for 36 months package a “promotional price” that is part of a customer trial. The company goes on to state, “Once this advanced consumer trial is complete, Comcast plans to roll Gigabit service out at additional price points in other markets to gauge consumer interest in Gigabit speeds.”
Let’s hope that when the gigabit service launches in additional markets that it’s priced more competitively and with fewer restrictions.