Google might have sparked the fiber internet wars with its highly acclaimed Google Fiber service for residential customers, but competitors like AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast have been close behind looking to offer matching (or greater speeds) in the same markets. One competitor that is touting faster speeds — actually, twice the 1Gbps speeds offered by Google Fiber — is Comcast.
Comcast’s 2Gbps symmetrical Gigabit Pro was first announced in April for the Atlanta market, and will soon begin expanding to the San Francisco Bay Area, Chattanooga, and parts of Colorado and Oregon. What was unknown up until the point is how much the service would cost customers. Well, we hope you’re sitting down because Gigabit Pro is priced for the ultra-elite. Comcast has posted a landing page for Gigabit Pro which shows that the service will cost an astonishing $299.95 per month.
And that’s not all, customers will also face installation costs of up to $500 and up to a $500 activation fee. Oh, we’re not done yet. You also will have to purchase your own equipment as well (that doesn’t appear to be including in the installation costs, unfortunately). And the final kicker is that installation takes 6 to 8 weeks to complete and you have to live within a third of a mile from Comcast’s fiber network to receive residential service.
However, there is one upside (in addition to the faster upload/download speeds) to this outrageous pricing -- it’s been reported that early birds signing up for a two-year contract will receive “promotional pricing” of $159.99 per month, which makes taking the plunge a little bit easier. But if you try to bail early, you’ll be hit with early termination fees and given the costs for installation and activation, those fees likely will make your eyes water.
For comparison, Google Fiber costs just $70 per month for the internet-only package (1Gbps symmetrical speeds) while the internet + TV package costs $120 per month. Google does have a one-time construction fee of $300, but that is waived if you sign up for a one-year contract.
But even if we take into account the 2Gbps speeds and promotional price of $159/per month, is Gigabit Pro really worth over twice the price of Google Fiber? If you crave insane internet speeds and have both Google Fiber and Gigabit Pro available in your area, then that might be a tough decision to make.