comcast windowComcast gigabit pricing strategies were revealed today, as the cable MSO outlined initial customer trials for its DOCSIS 3.1 powered ultra-broadband service. Trials for the service are beginning in select Atlanta neighborhoods, with plans for additional markets later this year, reports Comcast.

“Our Atlanta customers will be among the first in the world to enjoy this new Gigabit technology, and we’re looking forward to learning more from these early adopters about how they take advantage of these ultra-fast speeds,” said Comcast Central Division President Bill Connors in a press release. “The capabilities of DOCSIS 3.1 are incredibly exciting, and we are the first to market with a Gigabit offering that runs over our existing cable infrastructure.”

Comcast Gigabit Pricing
Comcast will have two pricing tiers for their gigabit service. A promotional 36-month contract price of $70/month will be offered, as well as a no-contract every day price of $140/month. These are unbundled pricing points. Comcast says they’ll test other price points for gigabit in other markets.

“Once this advanced consumer trial is complete, Comcast plans to roll Gigabit service out at additional price points in other markets to gauge consumer interest in Gigabit speeds,” says the company in their press release.

The $70 price point matches Google Fiber’s standing price point for gigabit services, who will soon join Comcast in offering the service in Atlanta. AT&T also plans to offer gigabit services there.

Comcast’s initial pricing strategy reveals a “Google Fiber Effect.” Where Google Fiber is present, competitors are matching the $70 price point. When competitors launch gigabit services in non-Google Fiber markets, the entry price tends to be higher.

That makes for some interesting competitive dynamics. Google Fiber has already been tinkering with pricing, introducing a $50 100 Mbps tier in Atlanta. Should they become more aggressive with gigabit pricing, we may witness a gigabit pricing war – in some markets anyway.

Comcast’s announced gigabit rollout plans include Atlanta and Nashville in early 2016, with Chicago, Detroit, and Miami to follow later this year. Eventually, Comcast says they’ll bring DOCSIS 3.1 powered gigabit to their entire footprint.