Comcast to Twin Cities: Want WideBand? Gonna Cost You Big

Comcast, the largest cable company in the US announced today that it is going to start selling a 50 megabits per second (down) connection in Minnesota’s Twin Cities region. The connection with 5 megabits/second upstream capability is based on DOCSIS 3.0 technology and will cost $150 a month. Cablevision, Surewest and Verizon have been offering similar high-speed yet very expensive connections for a while now.

The so-called Wideband connection is getting a lot of attention today, though the service is unavailable in larger Comcast markets like San Francisco, where 16 Mbps is as fast as you can go. Comcast promises that it will make Wideband available in 20% of the market it serves by 2009 and rest of the country in 2010. Talk is cheap! Since we are still waiting for TiVo on Comcast and instead suffering through a painful DVR experience, I am not holding my breath about WideBand showing up on my doorstep anytime soon.

Just a random observation: these expensive Wideband connections are attractive for a demographic that Comcast may label “bandwidth hogs” who might see their connections throttled.