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Add “gig city” to the attributes that make Pittsburgh a place for techies and growing families.

Comcast has rolled out a new internet service for homes and businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh area that will deliver speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. That’s among the fastest available service, Comcast says, and it complements the company’s recently offered Xfinity xFi platform for home Wi-Fi networks.

“This is five times the speed most of our customers have now,” which is the Blast! plan’s 200 megabits per second, says Bob Grove, vice president of communications for Comcast’s Northeast division.

“I’m thrilled that Pittsburgh is now a gig city,” Mayor Bill Peduto says in a statement about the company’s announcement. “Just like cities grew by being railroad hubs in the 19th century, they’ll prosper by having ultra-fast internet connectivity in the 21st.”

Verizon, which also offers internet service in the Pittsburgh region, has a gigabit-speed option through its FIOS service. Comcast, however, captures the lion’s share of Pittsburgh’s market.

People with multiple devices connected to the internet or those who like to stream movies will benefit most from the upgrade, says Grove. “For someone video-heavy on consumption, or who simply likes the speed, this is what they need. If you do have more devices, it certainly helps.”

Comcast customers in Pittsburgh have access to gigabit-speed internet now, and those in parts of the North Hills, Mon Valley and Washington County will get it by mid-November, he says. Most customers in Beaver County will have access by year’s end.

You won’t see crews digging in your neighborhood to make this happen, either.

“We’ve made the investment on the back end to make this possible and I think that’s one thing that will make it so popular to our customers,” says Grove. “The wiring in their homes will bring gigabit internet speed to their homes. All they need is a new modem from us.”

Comcast’s promotional price for the first 12 months of 1 gigabit service is $79.99 a month; after that, the everyday price is $104.95 monthly. Dozens of customers are already calling to swap their modem for a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem to accommodate the technology, Grove says.

Comcast began rolling out the service across the country about 18 months ago, including in State College, Lancaster and Harrisburg in Pennsylvania. More cities are slated to be connected in 2018.

Comcast’s Xfinity xFi platform provides a digital dashboard for home Wi-Fi networks that allows people to find their password, see what devices are connected, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls, and even pause Wi-Fi access on their home network during meals or overnight. Outside their homes, most Xfinity customers have access to nearly 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.

Sandra Tolliver

Sandra Tolliver is a freelance writer, editor and public relations professional in Upper St. Clair.