Comcast has announced it's intentions to offer a gigabit Internet service in the United States this year. The ability to offer a new-generation of blazing fast Internet speeds through cable lines comes as a result of ISPs beginning to adopt Broadcom’s newest BCM93390 chip, which complies with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 standard and is required for modems to receive the theoretical 1 Gbps download speed.
Once implemented, Comcast would theoretically be able to compete with services like Google Fiber, which is still only available in a small handful of markets in the United States. Though Comcast's download speeds would be capable of reaching 1Gbps with the new tech, upload streams will still lag behind. Broadcom says that it's chip would favor download speeds by as much as 4-5x over upload speeds. Even with the deficit, that leaves a theoretical upload speed of 200-250 Mbps under the new standard.
As it stands, Comcast's best download speeds are said to be about 150 Mbps, making a jump to 1 Gbps a huge leap no matter where you are in the United States. DOCSIS 3.1 will be backwards-compatible with the current 3.0 standard that many home modems run now. Should Comcast/Xfinity customers pick up a 3.1-compliant modem, they'd be able to use the same modem for both the slowest and fastest connections offered.
Source: PC World