Pricing yet to be determined for Oregon and Southwest Washington, where service is expected to begin in early 2017

Comcast announced this morning that it will start offering a residential gigabit internet service to customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington in early 2017.

Marc Farrar, the company’s vice president for external affairs, told The Review that the company will deliver the high-speed service with DOCSIS 3.1 technology, which uses the existing coaxial cables that most people already have in their homes.

Farrar said Comcast is not announcing specific pricing at this time for the 10 markets across the country covered by the announcement.

“We are learning from our advanced market trials in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami and Nashville and expect to have more details to share soon about pricing here,” he said. The service is currently being offered in those cities for $139.99 a month, with a $70 promotional rate.

“Technology continues to evolve and we never stop working to ensure our customers get the fastest internet speeds available,” said Rodrigo Lopez Sr., the regional vice president for Comcast Oregon/SW Washington.  “One-gig residential service will be another game-changer for Comcast’s customers, by again enhancing the online experience for households desiring more speed and using multiple devices.”

Comcast currently offers Gigabit Pro across its Oregon/Southwest Washington service area, but that 2-Gigabit, fiber-based product requires professional installation and equipment and is designed for the most advanced digital homes. The company’s new 1-Gig service will use the existing communications lines that are already in most residences.

As a result, Farrar said, it has the potential to reach more homes even faster and allows for broad deployment across communities. To get the service, all customers will need to do is install a new DOCSIS 3.1-compatible cable modem that is capable of delivering gigabit speeds, Ferrar said.

Comcast’s announcement comes just as Lake Oswego residents are mulling the fate of an advisory measure on local ballots that could help the City Council decide whether to pursue a municipal broadband fiber network. It would offer 1-Gig service to homes and businesses for around $60 a month.

Lake Oswego City Manager Scott Lazenby told The Review that a key difference between the two services is that Comcast's gigabit speed "is download only, not upload. And due to their coax party-line technology, you share bandwidth with your neighbors, so you may not always get the full speed you pay for."

Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker agreed that the new Comcast service "is not the same as fiber, but it could be a good solution if pricing is attractive."

"This whole market is heating up," Studebaker said, "and it is interesting to see what the companies are doing to compete."

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