The Latest: Comcast wants to tackle bad home internet

AP News
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Posted: Jan 04, 2017 10:05 AM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Comcast is hoping to make Wi-Fi in the home faster through an updated router — the machine that serves as data traffic cops for Wi-Fi networks.

Although home internet speeds have gotten faster, laptops and phones on Wi-Fi might still feel sluggish because older routers can't transmit data as fast.

Comcast's updated router costs $10 a month and comes with a modem. It's the same price as before. Customers can still buy their own equipment and save money over time. Comcast is also offering extenders to help Wi-Fi work all over a house, though the company wouldn't say what it might charge.

Eero, Starry, Google and Luma are among the companies that have fancy new router systems, but they start at more than $100 and run as much as $500.

Fewer than 5 million Comcast customers, mostly those on the most expensive internet packages, will get the new high-powered router this year. The company says it could take years to reach the bulk of its more than 24 million customers.

Another 10 million customers with the company's existing routers will get a software update by March to make it easier to set up parental controls and install "smart" thermostats and other internet-connected appliances. These features also come with the new routers.