Comcast customers received an increase in the speed of their internet service for the second time this year.
In January, all customers got a speed increase, but this time around, only people who bundle their internet service with television and/or phone service, and who have the company’s X1 hardware, get a free and substantial speed boost.
Customers who don’t buy their internet along with cable TV can still get access to the higher speeds, but they’ll have to pay for it.
The speed increases were announced April 25. How big of a bump customers received varied based on which package they’re subscribed to.
Subscribers who paid for a 60 Megabits-per-second service as part of their customer package will now get 150 Mbps. People who paid for 150 Mbps are moved up to 250 Mbps. Customers who paid for 250 Mbps are moved up to either 400 Mbps or 1 gigabit-per-second.
To take advantage of the new speeds, customers need to unplug their modems for about a minute. Alternatively, they can reset their modems using their “Xfinity My Account” app or through their X1 voice remote. Some customers might need to upgrade their modems to take advantage of the new bandwidth. Comcast customers who lease their modems can get a free upgrade.
Comcast customers, regardless of their plan, are subject to a monthly data cap of one terabyte. The company maintains that the overwhelming majority of its customers stay below that amount. Those who don’t can pay for unlimited service.
The new service packages are being tested in Comcast’s West division, and most recently in the markets of Southwest Washington up to Castle Rock, Portland and Houston, Texas.
Critics of the global telecommunication conglomerate say that the new bundles are an effort to stem the growing tide of customer cord-cutting — people dropping cable television in favor of internet-fed video services. Comcast, on the other hand, denies that is its motivation.
In an email, Comcast spokeswoman Amy Keiter addressed the subject with a statement repeated by other Comcast officials to numerous media outlets.
“This year alone, we have boosted speeds for internet-only customers and customers in packages in more than two dozen different states across the country which added at least 50 (Megabits per second) more speed for these customers,” the email reads. “In a few of our markets, we are also testing different multi-product packages by changing the Internet tiers for various packages we offer. Importantly, all of our internet tiers can be purchased as a stand-alone service by ANY Xfinity customer. We continue to deliver the fastest speeds to the most homes in the country — in fact, 75% of our customers now have speeds of 100 Mbps or higher and Gigabit service is now available to more than 90 percent of our service area, including internet-only customers.”