I was never a fan of cable modem internet service — mainly because you share that copper wire with up to 100 of your neighbors — but I now recant that condition after experiencing the Comcast Triple Play package overt the last three weeks.  I now have superlative broadband internet access, extensive HD cable programming and digital voice telephony.  My internet connection is so fast up and down that even the Speakeasy Speed Test gets whacked trying to make sense of it as you can see below:

My cable modem has been robust.  I haven’t had to reboot it for any technical reason since it was installed.  The speed is incredible.  Using iTunes, I downloaded both of Jackson Browne’s latest acoustic albums in under two minutes and I pulled a 2 gig movie in less than 8 minutes.

The digital phone service is another matter.  Comcast uses VOIP technology to deliver your voice calls over the internet.  Some people in distant states have reported poor quality when trying to talk to me, but my experience has been fine.  There’s a disconcerting lack of “full duplex” mode with some calls where we can’t talk at the same time without cutting each other off, but other than that the phone quality is fine.

Be warned, however, that if you call Comcast for support and they remotely reboot your modem, your phone call will be disconnected!  You need to tell Comcast you’re on their digital voice plan so they know they need to call you back if they disconnect you.

The most interesting piece of the Digital Voice package is the online management of your account.  You can see your missed calls, calls you made and get service updates and listen to your voice mail — all online via the Comcast Digital Voice web portal.  I even get an email sent to me when new voice mail is waiting.  Unlimited Call Forwarding is part of my package and I can also block unknown callers and reject a phone number — all from the web interface, so no matter where in the world I am, I can login to the website and manage my home phone.

Managing your telephone online is pretty keen, and I can begin to understand why Google’s Grand Central is now dead in the water.  Who needs Grand Central when you get most of its benefits for free with your bundled cable VOIP package?

I can’t confirm in my Comcast Triple Play experience will be a Home Run for you or not — and before I ordered their service I noticed a gang of Comcast trucks in our neighborhood the previous month.  The trucks were massive and the work being done was up the poles on the lines and some sort of serious wire upgrade appeared to be wrapping in place.

When you check the speeds for Comcast’s cable modem service online you see a promised speed of 6MB — but when I called to order the service, the sales guy made it clear our internet service would be 16MB split between upload and download and that higher speed is palpable and verifiable.

I stream content all day long as I work 18 hours a day and I have yet to have a glitch, stutter or any sort of service interruption with Comcast’s internet service.

Comcast’s Triple Play package is not just a Home Run for me — it’s a total Grand Slam! 


  1. Very curious: the download speed test for me registered a little over 3000kps and the upload registered 1274. The curiosity being that they claimed that all of us would soon be seeing 8000kps download speeds as part of our package. They said that about a year ago. Oh well… still seems quite fast to me, most of the time 🙂

  2. Hi Gordon!
    Yes, the online speed tests I’ve tried vary wildly. I don’t think the online test sites are ready for these faster speeds yet. I know Comcast’s “Powerboost” has been a bit of a joke in some circles… but it seems like now they have it working now for burstable packets, eh?
    My speed tests routinely max out at 10MB down, and the tests don’t know how to report back those kinds of incredible speeds.
    Comcast is still working in our area. Two streets up I see three giant Comcast trucks with guys hanging from buckets putting up new lines. Pieces of what they don’t use and cut away fall to the sidewalk, and one section of the new black, plastic, wire looked to be 2 inches in diameter with an inch of copper core in the center. Now that’s a pipe!
    Here are two “Speed Tests” I just ran on DNSstuff.com and I think it shows “Powerboost” in proper action.
    First Test:
    Download Speed: 8199 kbps (1024.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 2906 kbps (363.3 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Latency: 51 ms
    — 5 seconds later —
    Second Test:
    Download Speed: 10051 kbps (1256.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 2886 kbps (360.8 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Latency: 50 ms
    I think as Comcast senses your need for more power, it “boosts” you to its maximum available level. Pretty impressive.

  3. Impressive speeds, David. Can you tell the difference between it and your DSL?

  4. It’s much faster, Anne. You especially see the Comcast increase in downloading big files and uploading anything. If you run a website — you need that extra speed boost.

  5. I can see how the speed increases make things go faster. I’m still on DSL. It seems to be fine for me.

  6. Anne —
    Most of the publishers and editors I work with in the book bidnis are all on cable modems — usually Comcast. Now I understand why. They need that power for their interminable uploads and downloads of massive files.
    DSL is fine. The speeds will serve you. There’s no reason to switch unless you’re dissatisfied.
    Verizon just sent me a “please come back to us” coupon for $50. That’s a lot of money. They have a right and a reason to be worried. Their FIOS service sucks and Comcast and Time Warner will bury them when it comes to streaming media and phone service and internet connections because they already have the copper pipe in place.

  7. Yesterday on ABC Family they aired an episode of the Gilmore Girls where this hilarious line was uttered:

    Lorelai:I’m the one who called to schedule the DSL appointment. Well, no, no, we really need the DSL line installed today, it’s just awful being without it. Uh huh. Okay, well, um, if you can make it before five, everything’s good, but any later than that won’t work because the cable modem people are dropping by about 5:05, so. . . well, thank you, that’s great. Okay, bye bye. [hangs up] They’ll be here in twenty minutes.

    If only she had known how awesome cable modems were. 🙂

  8. Gordon!
    Now that’s some excellent :LOL: dialogue and it’s so good and true. Sooooo good!
    The cable companies know they have the Telcos by the tail. They’re already in all the important homes and they have a thick pipe that isn’t using hardly any of the bandwidth. Verizon is trying hard to play catch up, but they have miles and miles of cable to install all across the country.
    I’m all in favor of tiered cable modem service, too. I’ll pay more for a guaranteed speed that will ensure the script kiddies and the gamers won’t pull me down and drink all my juice right when I need my full power boost.

  9. Wow, David!
    those speed test reports are unreal! is there any streaming content service that is actually geared to make the most out of such bandwidth?

  10. Dananjay —
    There are some streaming video shows — like the live Big Brother 10 game that streams video in real time — but that speed cap is topped off at 225Kbps. It would be great to see super rich content streaming at 16MB!

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