"Comcast is engaging in what economists call price discrimination" in its high-speed Internet services, writes Washington Post (and formerly Philly-based Ars Technica) telecom writer Tim Lee in this story.
"Comcast says its fastest speed tier," which delivers 505 megabits per second, "requires Comcast to install special 'commercial grade equipment' at the customer's premises. So it makes sense that the company would charge a premium price - $399 per month - for it," writes Lee.
"But Comcast's next-fastest tier, clocking in at 105 Mbps, runs on the same infrastructure as the slower 50 Mbps and 20 Mbps tiers. There's no technical reason Comcast couldn't provide 105 Mbps service to everyone currently subscribing to the cheaper 50 Mbps and 20 Mbps tiers."
Comcast charges $115/month for that 105 megabits/second service, which Lee calls "underwhelming" vs., say, the $70/month Google charges for its much faster Kansas City service, or the $70/month municipal one-gigabit service in Chattanooga, Tenn.