Comcast Displays 1Gbps Speeds At Cable Show

Brad Chacos

Have you ever been watching a video download and found yourself saying, "You know, I'd really love it if I could download 23 episodes of this show in the time it took me to get to the end of the intro credits"? No? Us either. Nevertheless, faster Internet is always better Internet, and with a 1Gbps download rate, the cutting-edge cable technology demonstrated today by Comcast's CEO can fulfill almost anybody's need for speed.

Brian Roberts displayed the turbocharged connection at the cable industry's "Cable Show" in Chicago. Roberts showed off the speed of the cable connection (and rubbed our face in the recent Comcast-NBC merger) by downloading 23 episodes of NBC's "30 Rock" in one minute, 39 seconds, according to GigaOm . That's right – you can download an entire season of television shows in less time than it takes you sit through the average batch of commercials.

At 1Gbps, Comcast's demonstration clocked in considerably slower than ARRIS' demonstration of a 4.5Gbps cable connection on Monday, but the comparing the two is like comparing ninjas and pirates. Both are badass, but the ARRIS demonstration was simply a proof-of-concept display – actual 4.5Gbps speeds could be years away. Comcast, on the other hand, showed a working 11-mile network running 1Gbps, so it's much more likely to hit households sooner.

Did we say households? We're not sure that 1Gbps is really practical for everyday use yet. As commenters on the GigaOm article cheerfully point out, 1Gbps would let you tap out Comcast's 250GB download in just over half an hour. Plus, it would likely cost several hundred dollars a month for a 1Gbps connection. It's still nice to dream.

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