Coming this summer: faster speed from Comcast

Coming this summer: faster speed from Comcast

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman

Here at D4, Steve Burke, president of Comcast, sparred with moderator Kara Swisher, and the audience over Net neutrality. On the one hand, Burke agrees that offering different access to different sites, "is one of the dumbest things we could do."

On the other hand, look this summer for new ways to pay for extra bandwidth from Comcast. Personally, I'm in the process of signing up for Comcast's higher "tier" of access: 8 megabits per second (Mbps) instead of the standard 6Mbps. And coming this summer is a new feature called Speed Boost, which will spike your bandwidth when you need it. "Within seconds of touching the keyboard, your speed will go up to 16 megabits. When you're not there, it will drop back down to 6." It's unclear whether this is a refinement on Comcast's previous announcement about higher speeds or a different product.

We all want faster Net access. But are we willing to pay for it?