Comcast Gig: Gigabit with Strings

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Comcast Gig Service only appears to compete with Google Fiber

Comcast Gig service can be yours, right now if you live in an area that also has Google Fiber.  The service is only available where Google Fiber is also available, or will be coming soon.  But does this new service actually compare favorably to Google Fiber?

Google Fiber service is fairly simple.  1,000 Megabits per second upload and download connection speeds.  There is no bandwidth cap if the service is used for residential purposes and there is no contract, but you can waive the install fee if you keep the service for 12 months.  All this is available for $70 per month.

Comcast on the other hand has almost an innumerable count of optional plans, nearly all of which require at least a 12 month contract.  Granted the two plans offered that compare to Google Fiber do not require a contract, only if you want to pay the same amount.  Comcast Gig service is $140 / month without a contract, but $70 / month with a 36-month agreement.

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As good as Comcast Gig appears, being the same price as Google Fiber’s service, there are a couple of drawbacks (not including the 36-month contract).  Comcast Gig service is limited on the upload to 35 Mbps (roughly 30 times slower than Google Fiber upload).  There is also a bandwidth cap, Google Fiber does not have a ceiling on use.  But the one distinct difference in all this between Google Fiber and Comcast Gig is that in most of the planned Google Fiber roll out locations Comcast Gig is available now.

Comcast Gig is in many of the cities where Google Fiber is active and planning, but what you may not be aware of (until now) is why.  If you’ve ever wondered why there was no cable service competition anywhere, it is because the cable companies designed it that way from the outset.  By default no cable company can compete in the same city as another originally because of the initial cost of cable installation.  BUT this same rule is being imposed on Google Fiber, when Google Fiber is not a “cable provider”.

So while Google Fiber is embroiled in a bureaucratic web, Comcast will snare those who want gigabit internet service, but don’t want to wait for Google Fiber;  even if that poor excuse for gigabit service comes with more than a couple of strings.

Are you willing to wait potentially another two years for a better service or just to hang on to your current bandwidth provider? Or maybe switch to a cheaper but very long term partially-gigabit service, with a company that is well-known to be one of the worst for customer care?  Hit me up in the comments for how you feel about this new service.