Comcast recently is boosting Internet speeds for customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington on its most popular plans, offering downloads on high-end services that now top 100 megabits/sec. At this rate, subscribers could download a song in half a second -- or a full-length, HD movie in half an hour.
Comcast will send out emails to customers when the faster speeds are available to them. Customers must reset their modems to receive the faster speeds.
Here's what's changing now on each of Comcast's three main Internet plans:
--"Performance": Downloads up to 20 Mbps, up from 15 Mbps, with uploads up to 4 Mbps. The service costs $52 a month as part of a service bundle (with phone or cable TV), or $65 by itself.
--"Blast": Downloads up to 50 Mbps, up from 25 Mbps, with uploads up to 10 Mbps. $62 a month in a bundle, $75 standalone.
--"Extreme": Downloads up to 105 Mbps, up from 50 Mbps, with uploads up to 20 Mbps. $100 a month in a bundle, $115 standalone.
--"Essentials": low-end Internet service, downloads up to 3 megabits/sec for $40/month.
In the pacific northwest, Comcast is the largest cable TV and Internet service provider. But there are other choices. In the suburbs, Frontier Communications offers downloads of 15 Mbps~35 Mbps for monthly rates of $30~$50. CenturyLink, which serves Portland and Vancouver, offers download speeds of 3 Mbps~40 Mbps.