QuoteThe company plans to announce tomorrow that it's expanding its Xfinity Home Security service. Last year the company began testing the service in Houston. Now it's adding six more cities. Additional cities that will get the new service include parts of Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Sarasota/Naples, Fla.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Nashville.
The Xfinity Home Security service offers traditional home security features, such as police and fire alarm protection with 24-hour monitoring. It also offers some home automation functions, such as the ability to adjust thermostats and lights remotely. And when people are not home, they can also watch live video streams from wireless cameras that are positioned in and around their home.
The technology behind the system is slightly different from traditional home security systems from companies, such as ADT. The Comcast Xfinity Home Security system works over a broadband connection rather than a phone connection. And as a result it's able to offer the video service and remote management. The company uses cellular networks as a back up to the broadband connectivity to ensure uptime.
QuoteU.S. residential broadband penetration is expected to exceed 50 percent in 2007--and the U.K. isn't far behind. By the end of 2007, more than 60 million U.S. households will be connected--around 55 percent--according to market researcher Parks Associates. During 2006, broadband subscriptions grew by more than 20 percent in the U.S. and by the end of the year around 50 million households had fat pipes.
QuoteNethercomm, a San Diego-area start-up, says it has developed technology to send lightning-fast broadband and TV services via wireless signals through the pipes that deliver the fuel used to heat homes and fire up stoves. Gas pipes serve 62% of U.S. households, says the American Gas Association. Broadband in Gas, or BIG, could give consumers a third high-speed option at low costs and speeds that far surpass today's phone and cable offerings. It also could bring fast Internet to unserved rural areas. But, so far, the idea has been met with both excitement and skepticism.
QuoteSatellite providers DirecTV and EchoStar are teaming up under the name Wireless DBS to put down $972.5 million in bids for spectrum. Cable operators Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner have joined forces with Sprint Nextel to form a group called SpectrumCo that is bidding $637.7 million for licenses. Cingular Wireless and Verizon Wireless, which already have plenty of spectrum, have also made separate deposits to bid on the spectrum, according to public documents filed with the FCC. These companies are likely bidding to ensure that others don't get the spectrum too cheaply, some analysts say.
QuoteCable operators should not be the only companies to provide high-speed Internet access over cable television system, a federal appeals court said in reversing a Federal Communications Commission regulation.
QuoteThe Philadelphia-based cable company said on Thursday it will boost its maximum download speed of its Comcast Online service from 1.5 megabits per second (mbps) to 3mbps, at no additional charge to customers. It said it will introduce the increases in 14 U.S. markets at first, but added that the "majority" of its broadband subscribers nationwide will be upgraded by the end of the year.
QuoteIndeed Comcast is not the only company that offers higher than average speeds. Cablevision Systems Corp. CVC.N users are reporting download speeds of up to 4.3 megabits per second, according to a Broadbandreports.com, which tracks the industry. Comcast users reported speeds of about 1.6 megabits per second.
QuoteThe new 30-day trial will begin Thursday in Pittsburgh for subscribers who pay $42.95 a month on top of basic cable TV service. A separate 3mbps test is already under way in Knoxville, Tenn. A company representative would not comment on whether Comcast plans to eventually offer 3mbps service to all of its subscribers.
QuoteThe number of broadband, or high-speed, subscribers swelled by 49 percent in May compared with the same period last year, while the number of narrowband users dropped 12 percent, according to the lastest returns from Internet measurement firm Nielsen/NetRatings.
QuoteAlthough cable broadband is more expensive than DSL, it remains the dominant technology choice for broadband access in the United States. This lead is credited to cable's fast download speeds and its availability in nearly every major U.S. market. About 10 million U.S. homes get broadband access from cable providers such as Comcast, while about six million use Verizon and other telephone companies' DSL services.
QuoteThe study said cable modems were 50 percent faster on average than DSL connections. According to data tabulated during February, Cablevision reportedly had the fastest connections, averaging 800kbps, or 13kbps above the industry average. Comcast came in second at 794kbps, Cox in third with 688kbps and Adelphia in last with 575kbps. Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable television network, was not included in the study.