Comcast Bringing Super-Fast Fiber Network To Silicon Valley & Other California Markets

Two weeks after Comcast announced that Atlanta would be the first market to get its new Gigabit Pro fiber service — which promises speeds of up to twice that of Google Fiber — the company is now saying it will bring the high-speed broadband to several markets in California where it already offers service.

According to Comcast, starting in June it will begin a rollout of Gigabit Pro in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, up north as far as Yuba City and Chico; then down to Modesto, Fresno, and the Visalia area. Nearer the coast, Salinas and Monterey will get access to the service, as will some areas of Santa Barbara County. Interestingly, Santa Cruz is specifically called out as one area that will not be part of the Gigabit Pro rollout.

Much like Comcast’s Atlanta announcement came after both AT&T and Google announced their intention to offer gigabit broadband in the area, this news comes hot on the heels of AT&T’s decision to launch its Gigapower service in the heart of Silicon Valley. AT&T is also actively looking to offer this high-speed service in San Francisco and Oakland.

Because both networks are new, we don’t know exactly what sort of overlap there will be between AT&T’s Gigapower service and Comcast’s Gigabit Pro. Comcast is the prominent cable/broadband provider in San Jose and Cupertino, but the company’s press release does not name specific Bay Area markets.

A media rep for the company tells Consumerist that it will encompass all existing services areas from San Jose up to Santa Rosa, with the exception of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley. This means that AT&T and Comcast should be going head-to-head for high-speed customers in some areas.

We also don’t know what Comcast will charge for its highest-speed service. When AT&T announced its San Jose launch prices, it put a price tag of $110/month on it. In markets where AT&T and Google overlap, the company has offered a lower-cost option — so long as subscribers opt-in to having their browsing behavior tracked.

The good news for current Comcast customers in the affected markets is that their existing speeds may improve starting next month, without any additional cost.

The Xfinity “Performance” tier will go from from 50 Mbps downstream to 75 Mbps. The “Blast” tier jumps from from 105 Mbps to 150 Mbps. Customers will also have the option of upgrading to “Extreme 250,” which you’ve probably guessed is a 250 Mbps service tier.

Comcast is in a tenuous position with California right now. The company is trying to spend $45 billion to acquire Time Warner Cable and its millions of Los Angeles-area customers, but at least one prominent state regulator has publicly expressed his opinion that the state should not approve the transfer of TWC’s network to Comcast.

Meanwhile, here in Comcast’s home city of Philadelphia, the broadband penetration is one of the worst among major American cities, and the company is accusing Philly residents of lying about their customer service issues.

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