Comcast: Most Pittsburghers to get double internet speed at no extra cost

I got a phone call from Comcast last night. A recorded message told me that the service would be briefly down for upgrades in the early hours, and that the result would be double internet speeds for "most" customers at no extra cost.

My speed seems to have got a nice bump: throughput from about 15 mbps to 28 mbps. (Update: just checked to see what I'm paying for: 16mbps.) However, it's not consistent

I'm on the northside, near the Heinz Lofts and the Penn Brewery. I tested with Comcast's own test applet.

Do tell us if Comcast doesn't double your internet speed for free, Pittsburgh.

Published by Rob Beschizza

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  1. Mmm, Penn Brewery. Stop fooling around with the Internet and pick me up a case of Penn Gold, won’t you?

  2. Seems faster for me, on the North Side near Max’s Allegheny Tavern. I just wish there were more ISP options for the North Side … a Comcast monopoly (no matter how benevolent) just sits wrong with me.

  3. I tested with Comcast’s own test applet.

    Why do people do this? You need an independent audit.

    Comcast, Verizon, et. al. have a vested interest in lying to you with their own speed tests.

    Again, use the Web100 Network Diagnostic Tool (NDT). In fact, you should automate a cron job to audit your bandwidth periodically throughout every month, to see if your ISP is ever underproviding you bandwidth, and then prorate a reduction in your bill for the periods reduced service.

  4. This is interesting. I came home the other day to absolutely atrocious internet speeds — basically dialup speeds. I just visited the comcast speedtest and and found that I was reliably getting 10mbps over a connection that I only pay for 6mbps. And that’s with the access point on the other side of the house.

    I’m not complaining. This is clearly in response to Verizon pushing FIOS into Sq Hill and other areas of the city that previously couldn’t get it.

  5. I live outside the city, we still can’t get FIOS, which I’m pissed about.

    I just did the Comcast test, and it gives me 20Mbp/s.
    The Argonne test, 12.17Mbp/s, and that was the fastest of 5.


  6. They doubled the speed in Seattle months ago.
    With Comcast, remember that when you do speedtests, you may see speeds above what you’re paying for because they have what they call “Speed Boost” which opens the “pipes” up for you for a short amount of time. Usually around 5 minutes or so. So if you have 12 mbps, speedtests may show you speeds up to 24 or higher. That speed only lasts a couple minutes. The idea is to get that picture or video clip or whatever to you a little faster. Your overall average times will be more in line with what you’re paying for. And speeds do depend on the quality of the physical cabling in and to your house and how clean the signal is delivered. And if you’re paying for a 12mbps, that’s the max speed you’ll average…not what your guaranteed all the time.

  7. Comcast also does speedboost. Which is for anyone download/upload stream the first 30 sec/minute has a high bandwidth then it slows down to about a third of that.

    Or they might be the competition.

    Right now at home in Aliquippa, I do cellular internet by USB celluar keyfob with Verizon
    Decent speeds of 120-190 Kb/sec but the 5 GB Cap kinda sucks (25 cents a MB after going past that amount).

  8. Like Ffrank says, Comcast does SpeedBoost which does wonders for bandwidth testing apps because most of them don’t test for a very long time. That said, I have noticed a speed upgrade too (in Jersey City, NJ). I used to not be able to stream 1080p movie trailers earlier, but now it works well.

  9. FFrank?
    You’re in Aliquippa too? Wow. Small world.

    Sucks that we can’t get FIOS here, ey?

  10. @7 (Lucky)

    How far do you live outside the city? I have a friend in the North Hills who has had FiOS for a couple of years now. Meanwhile it only recently penetrated city limits. (I get a flyer at least once a week practically begging me to switch.)

    I still have 3Mbps DSL. I refuse to get cable because of Comcast’s track record.

  11. the real issue here is pittsburgh itself.

    first they hog all the championships (steelers and probably penguins) and now they’re sucking up all the bandwidth.

    i hate you, pittsburgh. i hope you get mauled by a bear.

    (go browns/devils! seriously, just…just go)

  12. MORE important is Quality of Service. My Comcast service is blazing fast but very noisy….. QoS is always poor. At best 65%. Comcast uses the crappy download test wigget for marketing but never mentions quality. Even compared to other download tests the Comcast test is inaccurate at best. Measure Comcast QoS reliably and then publish it.

    When you talk to Comcast one in a hundred that even know what QoS is. None so far that work in the field. Can’t wait for Fiber to reach my neighborhood. Lose this cable crap.

  13. 30.892 up and 4.157 down in Manchester neighborhood of da northside. i am paying the extra $10/mo 16mbps service. of course my Comcast was out all day Thursday so grrrrrr

  14. Hope Comcast does that in the Boston area. They still won’t get my business, but it might pressure the competing broadband providers to follow suit.

    Though realistically, for most of what I do, the server is already more of a bottleneck than the network.

  15. I’m out past Monroeville, just into Westmoreland County and I’m currently getting 5Mbit/s.

    Granted, this is during Internet Rush Hour in a suburban neighborhood.

    I’ll get back to you all at 4AM EST.

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