Not so long ago, Comcast was leaving Detroit. Now, the embattled cable provider has announced it is ramping up its 2 Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) campaign in Motown. FierceTelecom reports that Comcast will bring its Gigabit Pro service to about 1.5 million homes in Michigan. The service provider said it will offer Gigabit Pro to residential customers in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson and Lansing. Tim Collins, senior vice president of Comcast Cable’s Heartland Region, said in a release that the company’s move into Michigan is designed to address “tech-savvy residents who have a need for even faster speeds.”
Similar to other markets where it has announced plans to deliver Gigabit Pro, homes that live in near Comcast’s fiber network will be eligible to get Gigabit Pro service. Customers will have to have a technician install an optical network terminal and related equipment at their home for the service. In addition to the metro-Detroit area, Comcast plans to offer 2 Gbps service in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph (as part of the Greater Chicago region).
Comcast has not yet disclosed what it will charge for the Gigabit Pro offering. The author cites a DSL Reports article, Comcast was planning a $299 per month price tag for the service, which would make it much more expensive than Google’s $70 per month Google Fiber service or AT&T’s (NYSE: T) $120 per month charge for its gigabit services. However, it’s unclear if Comcast will adhere to that pricing when it does launch service.
The article says today, Comcast charges $399.95 a month for its 505 Mbps tier. An Ars Technica report said Comcast’s 2 Gbps service will cost less than that. It also said that all 505 Mbps customers will be upgraded to the new Gigabit Pro service. As the MSO tries to work out pricing, it decided to delay the initial May release of the service to a new, undetermined date.
Lets be honest, the real hero here is Dan Gilbert and his RocketFiber project. As has been the case where Google Fiber has gone in, the other players suddenly show an interest in that market. I predict a win for RocketFiber, because Mr. Gilbert’s people understand customer service and Comcast hates its customers.