Comcast’s Superfast 2-Gigabit Internet Takes on AT&T and Google

The race to offer faster Internet service is heating up. Comcast said Friday it will be offering some of its customers in the San Francisco Bay Area and the state 2 gigabits-per-second Internet service, surpassing the speed offered by its competitors, AT&T and Google Fiber. The two companies offer an Internet connection at a speed of 1 gigabit per second.

Comcast said it won't disclose the cost of the lightning-fast service until closer to June, when Gigabit Pro will launch in California.

Internet service at that speed is so fast that it would allow customers to download an entire high-definition movie in 12 seconds or 100 songs in 2.4 seconds.

"Comcast is trying to get a jump on Google Fiber and others like AT&T who are rolling out gigabit services. There's that threat to at least be able to offer a speed tier that's competitive," said Teresa Mastrangelo, an analyst with the market research firm Broadbandtrends.

Comcast said the service will be launched first in Atlanta in May and then will be available to nearly 3 million California homes starting in June, including in the San Francisco Bay Area. Other areas include Chico, Fresno, Marysville/Yuba City, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Barbara County, Stockton and Visalia metro areas.

The company also said Friday it was offering a new 250 megabits-per-second Internet service called "Extreme 250" in May for California customers, but also did not disclose a price for that service.

A Comcast customer's home would need to be at most one-third of a mile from Comcast's fiber network and would require installing certain equipment to get Gigabit Pro.

Bryan Byrd, a spokesman for Comcast, said that the company is trying to provide a range of speeds for customers based on their needs.

For example, a higher-speed option might be more attractive to customers who transfer large files,...

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