Comcast likely to show off gigabit cable broadband

Comcast (s cmcsa) will apparently show off a 1 gigabit per second connection Thursday at The Cable Show in Chicago according to Karl Bode, editor at Broadband Reports. Bode, a trusted source in the industry, said the nation’s top broadband provider would show off the gigabit connection and launch a symmetrical 100 Mbps connection speed tier. He tweeted a picture he identified as Comcast demonstrating 100 Mbps upload speeds.

To support these claims, an email from Comcast sent Tuesday asked me to “be sure to mark your calendars for June 16 at 9:00 a.m. CDT/10 a.m. EDT when Brian Roberts will preview this next-gen service and provide a glimpse into the future of broadband speed.” Verizon (s vz) is clearly nervous. A Verizon spokesman is emailing me with assertions about the superiority of fiber over cable (he’s right, fiber is better, but cable is far more prevalent). Of course, those emails may have been launched by the story I wrote on Tuesday noting that cable equipment provider Arris (sĀ arrs) had shown off 4.5 Gbps cable speeds. ArrisĀ sells its gear to Comcast.

If Comcast does show off 1 Gbps speeds Thursday, there are a lot of questions it should expect to answer starting with if this is a demonstration or something it plans to launch at some point in the near-term future. I’m also curious what such speeds mean for the end consumer on a shared cable network, and how many television channels it would have to sacrifice in order to deliver those speeds (this question is relevant for the faster upstream speeds it would need to deliver as well). Also, does it make sense to have a 250 GB monthly cap when offering gigabit speeds? I’ve asked Comcast about the demonstrations and everything else, but haven’t heard back. But when Roberts makes his big reveal tomorrow (here’s the live stream), it’s what I’ll be listening for.