Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable television operator, said on Wednesday it has started offering a 50mb high-speed Internet premium service for $149.95 a month.
The premium service was launched in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis-St. Paul and shares the market with regional phone company Qwest Communications International Inc. The new service offers speeds starting at 50 megabits per second, compared with the previous fastest connection speeds of 16 mb per second.
Comcast said the new service is aimed at residential and business customers. However, at $149.95 a month, compared with about $50 a month for its usual service, it is likely to attract businesses or very heavy residential users, such as video game players or movie download fans.
Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts unveiled plans for the new super-fast service at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, describing it as ” wideband,” and the renowned company said it plans to eventually reach around 20 percent of its subscriber base with the discreet service by the end of the year.
The cable company plans to increase speeds on the service, eventually offering speeds of 100 mb to 160 mb per second.
The technology that enables Comcast to increase download speeds is called ‘channel bonding’ and uses cable pipes more efficiently to deliver video, Internet and voice.
Comcast’s plans came less than a week after the cable company said it would change the way it manages its network and cooperate to resolve critics’ claims it interferes with Internet file-sharing services.