Excited for some more competition to enter the market when it comes to gigabit Internet alongside Google Fiber? Don’t get excited just yet. While Comcast has been moving into the space, the threat to Google Fiber’s crown is substantially lowered considering news today that Comcast will be throttling users who don’t sign a three-year contract.
Yes, you that read that correctly — either sign your digital life over to Comcast for three years, or suffer data throttling on Comcast gigabit Internet. Comcast is offering its lightning-fast service for $70 per month for those who get on the three-year plan. If you don’t want to sign that contract, though, you’ll be facing $140 per month and a 300GB per month data limit before you’ll be throttled.
Those who do decide that a contract isn’t for them can pay a $35 per month fee on top of the $140 price point to unlock unlimited downloads. So, if you don’t want to be throttled at 300GB, without a contract you’re looking at a cool $175 per month. Or, if you happen to be one of the lucky few living in a Google Fiber area you could pay $70 per month for Google’s gigabit Internet.
It’s also important to note that Comcast is using DOCSIS 3.1 technology to get gigabit download speeds, however the upload speeds are a measly 35Mbps. By comparison, Google Fiber offers one gigabit for both uploads and downloads.
It’s clear that Comcast and Google are destined to go head-to-head when it comes to gigabit Internet, with the first city to get Comcast’s offering being Atlanta, GA, a city that already has Google Fiber. Comcast is describing Atlanta as a trial run for the new service, encouraging users to offer feedback.
While it’s certainly possible that Comcast will change the price of its offering once the trial is over and it begins offering the service in more cities, for now Google Fiber may be your best option.