If you’ve seen their trucks around the island lately and wondered what is happening, now we can tell you: Comcast has nearly completed the infrastructure updates necessary to support its upgraded, high-speed network on Mercer Island.
The final step occurs next week, when the modem Comcast uses to service all of Mercer Island will be upgraded from 2400 bps (bits per second) to 9600 bps. This means that average Internet speeds for Mercer Island residents should quadruple literally overnight.
“With this upgrade, we bring Mercer Island’s Internet capabilities into the 20th century,” announced Rob U. Blind, Comcast’s Director of Customer Service, Puget Sound Region. “No longer will you endure excessive waits while animated GIFs download to your computer from geocities.com.”
And that’s not all, Blind said. The upgrades completed this week will enable Comcast to upgrade Mercer Island’s total maximum bandwidth to 14400 bps by 2017, assuming that Terry in the home office can figure out how to add the new US Robotics modem to his Amazon shopping cart.
To cover the capital and operational costs of the upgrade, Comcast has petitioned the City of Mercer Island to increase basic cable rates by $5 per month per subscriber.
Comcast warns that there could be sporadic outages in the initial days after deployment, if the teenager who lives in the house where Comcast has installed the modem accidentally picks up the phone to call her friends.