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Where's my gigabit Internet, anyway?

Jon Gold | April 21, 2014
For Americans used to roughly 10Mbps broadband connections, the idea of gigabit Internet can feel a little like science fiction. Streaming 4K video without hiccups? Enormous file downloads happening in seconds? Oh, sure.

A spokesman highlighted that there are likely multiple issues contributing to the lack of general gigabit availability.

"There [are] major capital costs involved in upgrading broadband networks," he said in an email to Network World, noting also that many present-day wireless routers can't make use of a gigabit's worth of bandwidth.

A spokesperson for Comcast said that while the nation's biggest residential ISP will continually increase speeds for residential customers, there are no immediate plans for gigabit Internet. The current top speed is 505Mbps, which is only available in select areas.Like most of the ISPs mentioned in this article, Comcast has business offerings that meet and exceed the gigabit barrier.

So does Verizon, whose FiOS service is the most widespread fiber-to-the-home offering in the U.S. Even with fiber-optic technology, however, Big Red doesn't have gigabit residential service.

"Fiber networks deliver the optimum broadband and TV experience for consumers," said spokesman Bill Kula. "Google's use of fiber, now in a few markets, validates the decision we made 10 years ago to build a powerful all-fiber network to meet the communication needs of consumers today, and years to come."

But if you want gigabit speeds, you'll still have to look elsewhere.

 

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