Florida High-speed Internet gets faster

Bright House Networks is increasing the speed of its high-speed Internet service, which will allow faster downloading of music and movies, as well as smoother online gaming.

Company officials said the higher speeds will not add any costs to current or future customers. In fact, the company said it is dropping the price of its fastest connection, Road Runner Premium, by $25 a month.

“We are increasing speed so customers can have access to very rich content: photos, high-speed gaming, movies and music,” company spokesman Brian Craven said Tuesday. “Streaming audio and video are two of the hottest areas.”

Maximum speeds will increase by 25 percent for the high-end Road Runner Premium service; will increase by 40 percent for standard Road Runner high-speed Internet, which most of its customers have; and will double for the lower-end, “entry-level” Road Runner Lite. The changes take effect March 1.

Increasing the connection speed is a “huge plus . . . for anyone downloading movies, songs or live-feed streaming
video,” said Matt Phelps, owner of Gamer HQ in Palm Bay. “The more bandwidth, the better.”

A fast connection also could give a gamer an edge when battling online opponents because it gives the player a “better response time,” Phelps said, so that person could more quickly dodge incoming attacks and hit enemies.

Bright House officials say their fiber-optic network — a $350 million investment finished in 2000 — has the capacity to have even faster downloads. But they say they won’t raise the speed higher until content gets even more data-heavy.

The company won’t say exactly how high download speeds can go in the future.

The latest “speed enhancement” from Bright House is its third in three years.

Bright House has more than 800,000 high-speed Internet, cable television and digital phone customers in nine Central Florida counties, including Brevard. The company does not disclose customer counts by individual county or service.

Published in Florida Today, Business section.

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