A premium Xbox 360 costs about $250. An Xbox One, about $350. And with Comcast's new 2-gigabit Internet services, you'll be paying right in the middle. Every month.
Comcast will charge $299.95 per month for its 2Gb symmetrical service (2 Gb/s down, 2 Gb/s up) on its Web page, following a rollout earlier this year that neglected to note what Comcast would charge you for the service. As of today, the service is available in the San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of California, plus Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami and nearby areas.
The service comes with a number of caveats: First, you'll need to live within a half-mile of Comcast's metro fiber network--which presumably won't be a problem if you live in the supported cities. And forget about bundles--yes, you can buy the service, but you won't be able to find any discounts for buying TV or phone service along with it.
But that isn't the real catch. The catch is the installation fee--$500 according to the fine print, the Verge discovered--and another $500 for the activation fee, according to the site. (I may live in the Bay Area, but the 2Gb offer apparently isn't available to me.) Then it takes six to eight weeks to install the service. And if you decide you want to back out? Well, according to DSL Reports, the early termination fee could be well over a thousand dollars.
So, let's tally it up: If you want Comcast's ultra-high-speed 2Gb service, you could pay $1,000 just to install and active it, plus $300 per month to enjoy it. Over a year's time, you'd end up paying $4,600 for Comcast's high-speed Internet, or about the price of a (very cheap) used car. And, of course, if you decided to back out, you'd pay another $1,000 on top of it.
Why this matters: With many things--CPU power, online storage, and now broadband speed--I wonder that consumers aren't hitting a point where the current offerings are good enough. Does a single-family home need a 2Gb connection? I'd argue no, probably not. However, fill that single-family home with several geeks maxing out their Internet connections (and minimizing rent) and it's very possible that what Comcast's offering makes sense. What do you think? Is two gigabits per second overkill? Tell us below.