Comcast plans to announce Thursday that it is beginning the introduction of a new broadband Internet technology in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, starting this week.I was excited when I first read this, as 50Mbs speed will allow for streaming and quick downloads of HD movie and TV content. But then I realized that this is another Comcast offering that looks good on everything except price. $150 a month? Who is going to pay that?
The technology, Docsis 3.0, is a bandwidth hog’s dream: Internet users can feast on download speeds of up to 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of 5 megabits a second. The service is pricey. In the Twin Cities, the new tier will be offered at $150 a month, as compared to an 8-megabit-a-second download tier now offered at $53 and a 6-megabit-a-second download tier at $43.
Mitch Bowling, a senior vice president at Comcast, said the company would make Docsis 3.0 available to 20 percent of homes in areas it serves in 2009 and will finish the introduction to the rest of the country by 2010.
The next president should challenge the internet providers to make 100Mbs Internet access available to all Americans for $50 a month by the end of his first term (Jan, 2013). It is time to put America back on the map in terms of internet competitiveness. (Personally I would be fine with just a goal of all urban and suburban households hitting this goal, as I figure the rural locations will be the tricky ones, but that doesn't make for a good political rallying cry.)
The commenters on Digg mention that you can get 100 Mbs (up and down) for the same price in Japan, for 25€ in Finland and 17€ in Sweden. Sweden taunts us further by using the world's fastest internet connection to dry laundry. Even Malaysia has a plan to provide 224Mbps Internet access at a cost of RM5 (US$1.58) per user per month.
I am glad to see Comcast rolling this out, but America needs even faster internet speeds at much lower prices.