Comcast simply launched a 2020 Network Performance Data report with stats on how a lot Internet utilization rose in the course of the pandemic, and it mentioned that add use is rising sooner than obtain use. “Peak downstream traffic in 2020 increased approximately 38 percent over 2019 levels and peak upstream traffic increased approximately 56 percent over 2019 levels,” Comcast mentioned.

But whereas add use on Comcast’s community rapidly grows—pushed largely by videoconferencing amongst folks working and studying at dwelling—the nation’s largest home-Internet supplier with over 30 million clients advertises its pace tiers as if importing would not exist. Comcast’s 56 % enhance in upstream visitors made me marvel if the corporate will enhance add speeds any time quickly, so I checked out Comcast’s Xfinity.com web site right now to see the present add speeds. Getting that data was much more tough than I anticipated.

The Xfinity web site advertises cable-Internet plans with obtain speeds beginning at 25Mbps with out mentioning that upstream speeds are only a fraction of the downstream ones. I went via Comcast’s on-line ordering system right now and located no point out of add speeds wherever. Even clicking “pricing & other info” and “view plan details” hyperlinks to learn the effective print on numerous Internet plans did not reveal add speeds.

Even after including a plan to the cart and going via a lot of the checkout course of, I couldn’t discover any point out of add speeds. I received to the purpose the place it’s a must to enter bank card data to proceed, so I initially stopped there. I later confirmed that Comcast’s ordering system will present add speeds after it checks whether or not your bank card is legitimate, within the ultimate web page the place you submit an order.

Deliberately conserving clients at midnight

I’ve lengthy identified that it is tough to seek out add speeds on Comcast’s web site, however I’m unsure precisely when it grew to become nearly unattainable. There have been complaints about this very drawback on Comcast’s buyer assist boards in 2020 and in 2019, although. “What is my upload speed now? No where in the world can I find documentation,” one buyer requested. The reply was that current clients can discover add speeds for their very own plan of their account settings after logging in and navigating to the right part.

But that doesn’t assist people who find themselves signing up for service and need to discover out what add speeds they will get or evaluate add speeds of various plans. Even the Xfinity.com comparability device that permits you to evaluate particulars of various plans would not reveal their add speeds. The absence of add speeds from Comcast’s web site is so thorough that it’s clearly a deliberate try to hold clients at midnight. This gallery exhibits how the Comcast Xfinity web site shows Internet plans with out mentioning add speeds and continues that tactic via almost your entire checkout course of:

Thankfully, the third-party web site CableTV.com lists each obtain and add speeds, exhibiting that Comcast’s 25Mbps obtain plan comes with 3Mbps uploads; the 100Mbps and 200Mbps obtain plans each have 5Mbps uploads; the 300Mbps obtain plan has 10Mbps uploads; the 600Mbps plan has 15Mbps uploads; and the 1Gbps obtain (1.2Gbps in some areas) comes with 35Mbps:

Comcast speeds and prices, no thanks to Comcast's website.
Enlarge / Comcast speeds and costs, no due to Comcast’s web site.

Comcast’s web site does record the 35Mbps add speeds for the gigabit plan at this web page, however I could not discover something related for Comcast’s different cable-Internet plans. Comcast additionally affords a fiber-to-the-home service with 2Gbps speeds each downstream and upstream. But Comcast’s residential fiber requires set up prices of as much as $500, and the service prices $300 a month, which is greater than 3 times as a lot because the gigabit-cable plan that has 35Mbps downloads.

Comcast, why did you make this so onerous?

I contacted Comcast right now with two main questions: is there any solution to discover add speeds on Comcast’s web site earlier than submitting an order for Internet service, and does Comcast have any plans to boost its cable add speeds?

Comcast’s reply on the place to seek out upstream speeds was as follows:

Our community report exhibits that, regardless of the expansion in upstream visitors in 2020, patterns stay extremely asymmetrical as downstream volumes have been 14x larger than upstream all through 2020. Our web site displays the best way clients use the Internet with downstream overwhelmingly dominating utilization, however upstream speeds are included in your cart and are seen upon take a look at while you submit your order.

Despite Comcast claiming that “upstream speeds are included in your cart,” I may discover no proof of this. Adding a Comcast Internet plan to the cart after which clicking the cart icon introduced me to an ordering web page that doesn’t point out add speeds. I confirmed this habits on Xfinity.com in each Chrome and Safari.

I circled again to the Comcast spokesperson and requested what precise steps I have to take to make add speeds present up within the cart. It seems the add speeds by no means present up within the cart in any respect except you outline “cart” to incorporate your entire ordering course of. Comcast advised us the add speeds will lastly seem “when you are at the step when you review your order.”

Despite my earlier reluctance to enter my bank card data for service I’m not ordering, I lastly did so to test whether or not that is correct. I submitted my tackle, telephone quantity, and bank card data, and I clicked “Next.” This triggered a step through which Comcast’s system checked to see whether or not I had entered a sound bank card. I unintentionally entered a just lately expired card quantity, so Comcast’s system “declined” my card and made me re-enter it. After I entered a card quantity that Comcast may cost, I lastly received to this web page, the place the 300Mbps download-plan’s 10Mbps add speeds are proven:

The last page in Comcast's ordering system.
Enlarge / The final web page in Comcast’s ordering system.

Xfinity.com

At this web page, with Comcast having already verified your card, you possibly can view add speeds and resolve whether or not to submit the order or exit the ordering system. The a part of Comcast’s assertion that add speeds are “visible upon check out when you submit your order” is thus correct. But refusing to inform a potential buyer what they’re paying for till after they submit bank card data is solely ridiculous. You can most likely get add speeds earlier by asking a Comcast rep in an internet chat or telephone name, however that should not be mandatory.

Update: After digging via Comcast’s record of buyer agreements, insurance policies, and disclosures, I discovered a now-outdated community administration web page that features obtain and add speeds. It seems to be the latest such record obtainable on Comcast’s web site, but it surely was printed on August 19, 2019 and the listed speeds do not match Comcast’s present choices.

Source arstechnica.com