Comcast is breaking the trend by promising upload speeds of over 35Mbps. While download speeds are well publicized by network providers, upload numbers tend to be much less visible. This is in part because users tend to look for download speeds to provide streaming functions, but also because the upload speeds tend to be much lower.
The promise comes on the back of a test of the Broadcom System-on-a-chip (SOC) device over its hybrid-fiber coaxial network. In the test environment, the device was able to achieve greater than 4 gigabits per second, both upstream and downstream. Something that would keep cable ahead of the expanding 5G offerings.
This is part of Comcast’s ‘path to 10G’, joining a global initiative (opens in new tab) to deliver internet speeds of 10Gbps. Expanded testing of the system later this year is expected to deliver even greater capacity. Comcast includes Sky in Europe and the UK, Xfinity in the US and NBC Universal globally.
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Faster upload speeds allow for the greater use of cloud computing and cloud storage, allowing users to use applications and space on the cloud as they would their own local hard drives. It also benefits online gaming and even video conferencing. Many of us have witnessed the perils of poor upload speeds on Zoom calls, causing dropouts and freezes.
The Comcast announcement (opens in new tab) is also significant, as the test has been performed across an existing network. Hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) networks have been used for cable TV distribution since the 1990s, and so the lines are already in place to most households.