Comcast boosted its Internet speeds: Here's how much faster your movies will download

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If you've got Comcast Internet, there's a good chance your download speed will get a lot faster Thursday – and you don't have to pay a cent more.

The Internet and TV giant announced this week it's increasing speeds for customers in the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota (New Ulm, Madelia, New Prague and Waverly) and western Wisconsin service area for free.

Comcast, it's worth noting, is facing increased competition with the rise of fiber Internet options.

The speed boost will be available for all Xfinity Internet customers who currently subscribe to these three service tiers:

  • “Performance” – currently at 25 megabits per second (Mbps), increasing to 50 Mbps
  • “Blast”– currently at 50 Mbps, increasing to 105 Mbps
  • “Extreme 105” – currently at 105 Mbps, increasing 150 Mbps.

OK, so how fast can I download a movie now?

Numbers are nice, but really, the thing customers probably want to know is how much faster that song or movie will download.

A quick math note – there are 8 megabits in 1 megabyte; a digital song usually comes in at around 4 megabytes, while a movie is about 6,144 megabytes, according to the National Broadband Map website.

So at 25 Mbps, you could download a song in 0.6 seconds, and a movie in 16 minutes, the site says.

At 50 Mbps, you're at 0.3 seconds for the song, and 8 minutes for the movie.

And at 100 Mbps, the song will get to you in less than 0.1 seconds, and the movie in about 50 seconds.

One important caveat: Those are only download speeds, so how fast files and information will get delivered to your computer. Upload speeds (so what's used when you put videos on YouTube or Vimeo, for example) are staying the same, Comcast spokesperson Dave Nyberg told BringMeTheNews.

That's 5 Mbps, 10 Mbps, and 20 Mbps for each of those plans, respectively.

Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman, in the Comcast news release, called speedy Internet "a necessity," not a luxury, in today's world. While Margaret Anderson-Kelliher – president and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association and chair of the Minnesota State Broadband Task Force – called the boost "a big leap forward for broadband in the state."

How to get the speed boost

If you're one of the above-mentioned Comcast customers, it just requires a "power cycle" of the modem (the little box that has the blinking lights the Ethernet cord is plugged into).

To do that, you can do one of the following:

  • Hit the modem's reset button.
  • Unplug the modem's power cord from the outlet, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in.
  • Do it remotely via the Xfinity My Account app, or online.

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