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Comcast's Xfinity brand rolls into Twin Cities; 105 tier next?

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 9:27am
Mike Robuck

Last week, Comcast officially put the Xfinity branding stamp on its Twin Cities market and dropped yet another hint that it will soon offer a residential DOCSIS 3.0 tier with a download speed over 100 Mbps.

The Xfinity Twin Cities press release made a passing mention of "even faster residential Internet speeds in the near future – up to 100-plus Mbps," but it provided no specific date for the launch of the residential service known as Extreme 105.

Comcast's Extreme 105 has been grinding its way though the rumor mill ever since The Cable Show in May. Comcast has made mention of a 105 Mbps tier in material it has released about Xfinity branding in major markets, which include the San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver and Philadelphia.

While almost any of the 12 markets where the Xfinity brand has been rolled out would appear to be a candidate for Extreme 105's debut, Comcast first launched its 50 Mbps tier and 100 Mbps tier for businesses in the Twin Cities.

Based on the previous DOCSIS 3.0 deployments, the Minneapolis/St. Paul system has a solid engineering team in place with two D3 "firsts" under its belt, as well as the network capacity. While competing with Qwest in Minnesota isn't quite on the same level as competing with Verizon in a major metropolitan area on the East Coast, a Twin Cities launch of Extreme 105 would give Comcast a chance to test the residential 105 Mbps waters.

Extreme 105 is rumored to have 10 Mbps on the upstream, with a monthly price tag of $200 per month and a $250 installation fee. Other printed material from Comcast indicated that customers would need to use Arris' WBM760 cable modem for Extreme 105.

Comcast has acknowledged that it will launch a 100 Mbps wideband tier for its residential customers sometime this year but has been coquettish about the details, although some information from Comcast indicated Extreme 105 would launch in June.

Comcast is running out of "some time this year," so expect the official Extreme 105 announcements to begin soon.

Comcast: We do not suck
Lastly, a TV station noted in a story on its website last week that Comcast's Xfinity re-branding effort "has nothing to do with negative feelings about Comcast's customer service some people may hold, but is instead meant to signify improvements in services."

That's good to know.


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