Comcast recently increased its Xfinity internet speeds in California to match what it’s offering nationwide. This means top uploads and downloads are now set at 3 gigabits per second for the company’s highest and most expensive speed tier, the $300 per month Gigabit Pro plan.
Previously tied withfor the fastest residential internet plan, at 2Gbps, now sees itself in the lead among major US internet service providers due to the speed boost. Last November, Xfinity released a report showing that its average customer has 12 devices in the home and that high-end Xfinity users have 30 or more. Though it’s more speed than just about any household currently needs, the symmetrical speeds of a 3Gbps plan are as future-proofed as it gets and would certainly help keep those devices running smoothly and without fail.
The 3Gbps Gigabit Pro plan isn’t just available to all Xfinity customers across California. This is now the nationwide standard for Xfinity’s top-level residential plan, a Comcast spokesperson said.
According to Federal Communications Commission data from mid-2020, Comcast’s fiber option is available to only 0.02% of its national footprint. Granted, that data is more than a year old, but it raises the question: How many Xfinity addresses actually qualify for the fiber Gigabit Pro plan?
The Comcast spokesperson didn’t have the latest figures but confirmed that a site survey is still necessary to determine if your address is eligible for the Gigabit Pro plan.
One last splash of cold water: Unlike with some ISPs that don’t require a contract, Gigabit Pro customers must sign a two-year minimum agreement at $300 a month. If you cancel before those 24 months have expired, you owe early termination fees. Triple gig speeds may be here, but they won’t come cheap.
FAQ: How to get gig speed internet
How do I get gigabit internet?
To take advantage of Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan, you’ll first need to reach out to Xfinity and schedule a site survey. Even if you’re a current Xfinity customer or know you’re in an Xfinity-serviceable area, Comcast will still need to inspect to see if your home is within the minimum distance from a fiber node. If everything checks out, it may take several weeks before your household can get Gigabit Pro fully installed.
All that said, if you just want gigabit internet instead of Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro speed tier, you could opt for Xfinity’s Gigabit plan, which is available in all Xfinity locations. No site survey is required. It features maximum download speeds of 1,200 megabits per second, but unlike the Gigabit Pro plan, which boasts symmetrical max download and upload speeds of 3,000Mbps, its upload speed tops out at 35Mbps because it’s a cable connection instead of fiber.
Finally, if you want to get gigabit internet and you’re not serviceable by Comcast Xfinity, there are several other options for you. Gigabit internet, via a cable connection, is available through several providers, including Cox, Optimum, RCN, Spectrum and others. Fiber gigabit service, which provides symmetrical download and upload speeds, can be found with Verizon Fios, Google Fiber, AT&T, Frontier FiberOptic and others.
What does gigabit internet cost?
On the surface, Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan is one of the priciest broadband packages you’ll find. It costs $300 a month, and you can get it only if you sign up for a two-year contract. However, the cost per Mbps, at 10 cents, is quite reasonable. But there’s a $20 a month rental charge for equipment. There’s also a pretty hefty additional expenditure right out of the gate: Households face an activation fee of up to $500 and an additional installation fee of another $500. That’s a total of $1,000 before you even get to the regular monthly charges.
On the other hand, if you look at Comcast competitors, those with a fiber internet connection will provide the best performance — featuring symmetrical download and upload speeds — and present the most affordable gigabit plans. For example, Google Fiber, which includes all equipment costs and fees in its monthly rate, is the cheapest we’ve seen, at 7 cents per Mbps. However, it’s currently available only in 12 markets across the country, so you might need to turn to AT&T, CenturyLink or Verizon Fios, which all average between 13 cents and 16 cents per Mbps. That beats most cable internet prices and doesn’t require the additional equipment, activation and installation fees of Gigabit Pro. Nor do they require the two-year term agreement.
Is gigabit internet worth the price?
Perhaps. Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan is undoubtedly pricey, and it requires you to sign up for a two-year contract. That’s a $7,200 commitment that still doesn’t account for the additional monthly equipment rental fee and the onetime installation and activation charges. But the monthly cost of 10 cents per Mbps is actually quite competitive. Plus, the symmetrical 3,000Mbps upload and download speeds certainly set up your household with plenty of opportunities to utilize a multitude of connected devices, now and in the future.
However, most households right now don’t need all that speed. If you go one step down and opt for Xfinity’s Gigabit plan, you can get 1,200Mbps for just over 9 cents per Mbps. Instead of a two-year agreement, you have to sign only a one-year contract. Finally, your modem/router equipment fee is included, rather than an additional monthly cost (as it is with Gigabit Pro). It may not be as flashy as having the fastest residential plan currently available, but it’ll get you gigabit speeds at a more affordable price.