Comcast's 2 Gbps Gigabit Pro Internet Service Will Cost $299 Monthly

Comcast has begun (opens in new tab) the long and slow process of upgrading its copper-based networks to Fiber Optic systems. Although a 2 Gbps connection will be available from this fiber network, Comcast has priced the service, called Gigabit Pro, at $299 per month, making it a completely unrealistic Internet service for the majority of users.

The service is available in select areas in seven states. To be eligible to purchase this service, you must live within one-third of a mile from the established fiber network. According to the terms of service, users who sign up for the service must agree to a minimum two year term agreement. Installation of the service will take 6 to 8 weeks (or more) to complete, with up to a $500 installation fee, in addition to up to a $500 activation fee. Additional equipment, taxes, fees and other extra charges also apply. After the setup, Comcast stated that users are limited to a single outlet, and the actual speed of the service is not guaranteed.

As you can tell by the terms of agreement, Comcast's fiber network is outrageously expensive, and not really a viable option for many. Overall, the price wouldn't be so bad if this was part of a complete bundle of services including TV and telephone, but the Gigabit Pro network is only available in standalone packages. If you want Comcast for your TV and phone service, you will need to purchase the services for additional monthly fees.

Though this is expensive for customers, it seems like it would be great for businesses needing a faster Internet connection, but unfortunately Comcast has limited the service to residential customers only.

Still, despite the cost, Comcast has some strong points to help attract customers. First, it is the fastest Internet available to users, with upload and download speeds of 2 Gbps. Other fiber networks like Google Fiber currently available top out at 1 Gbps, so Comcast has a performance advantage.

Also, thanks to the large size of the company, Comcast has been able to roll out this network to more cities at once.

Comcast will likely have a difficult time selling its service in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia, though. In Chattanooga, a municipal ISP offers fiber Internet at 1 Gbps, a TV package, and phone service all for $132.82 a month. Similarly, in Atlanta, Google is developing a new branch of its Fiber network that offers service similar to that in Chattanooga for $130.

Despite difficulties in these cities, most areas that Comcast is offering this service aren't competing with fiber networks, and thus Comcast is unopposed for this level of service.

It is interesting to see that the timing of this upgrade comes just a few months after the FCC passed new legislation that protects and promotes municipal ISPs. Although there are only a handful of municipal broadband networks in the United States, the much faster Internet speed and lower costs are the envy of many.

If municipal broadband networks keep growing in number, it would seriously undermine the power of larger ISPs such as Comcast, and that's likely what motivated Comcast to develop its fiber network this year. Although the price isn't very competitive, it will still likely slow the growth of municipal networks in the cities it spreads to with its fast 2 Gbps service.

However, this move by Comcast could encourage other ISPs to upgrade their networks and lead to a competitive fiber network.

Follow Michael Justin Allen Sexton @LordLao74. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • chuyayala
    Its useless for now until current commercially sold computers and routers can handle speeds over 1Gbps.
  • jaber2
    Time to buy bigger harddrives
  • eklipz330
    "and the actual speed of the service is not guaranteed."

    internet needs to become a public utility. this is nonsense.
  • blazorthon
    Over a thousand dollars just to get the service and $300 a month, not including other fees and costs nor the cost of getting a server network adapter that can handle greater than 1Gb of bandwidth.

    What would you do with 2Gb that you can't with 1Gb? Even better, there's no guarantee that performance will be as advertised.

    Sure, I'm glad that they're doing something, but this seems more like a PR stunt than a product even for people who can afford it to take seriously.
  • etk
    I feel like Comcast ignores what you pay for and just picks a number out of a hat anyway.

    When I paid for 50mbps down I consistantly got 18.
    I changed to a 25mbps plan about a year ago and my speed went up to 20.
    The promo just ran out so I just changed to their 6mbps plan, and I get like 8 now.

  • neieus
    Um..... no
  • turkey3_scratch
    Okay Time Warner time to quit advertising your spectacular 100Mbps.
  • vern72
    And then Google enters the service area...
  • Emanuel Elmo
    Okay Time Warner time to quit advertising your spectacular 100Mbps.

    You do know that TWC has had 300Mbps internet longer than comcast has and cheaper too.
  • CaedenV
    wow, my ISP (Time Warner Cable) can barely push out 20mbps at $40, and I live in a decent suburban area near a major city. I can't imagine getting a throughput of ~250MBps. I would settle with 100mbps at $75/mo.