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Comcast begins gigabit internet trial in Chicago

Engadget logo Engadget 18/08/2016 Billy Steele
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Comcast has already revealed its plans to bring gigabit internet service to Atlanta and Nashville, and now it's now offering the option in Chicago on a trial basis. Like those other two cities, the cable company will use a DOCSIS 3.1 modem to deliver the 1Gbps speeds over its existing infrastructure. The new service is priced at $140 a month without a contract, plus any adds taxes and fees. As Consumerist notes, Comcast doesn't mention the option to sign up for three years and get a discounted rate, but it does say that it will "test promotional pricing during the trial period."

When Comcast's gigabit trial hit Atlanta earlier in the year, customers has the option of committing to three years for service in exchange for a $70 monthly rate. Why isn't that available in Chicago? Well, Google Fiber is already slated for Georgia's capital, as is AT&T's high-speed internet. Google's gigabit service hasn't yet made it to the Windy City, but the company did acquire Webpass back in June, a company that has high-speed internet customers in Chicago already. On the Google Fiber website, Chicago is still listed as a potential city as the status hasn't changed since it was first announced in late 2015.

Meanwhile, AT&T's gigabit service is available in Chicago already, priced at $90 a month or $20 higher than some other locales. This increased rate could drop after the trial is up, but it appears Comcast is basing its rates off of the competition in the cities where it's rolling out the speedy internet service. As the option becomes available in more places, it will be interesting to keep an eye on how the rates vary. What's more, Comcast's faster 2Gbps service, Gigabit Pro, is already available in the Greater Chicago area.


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