The week in review (copy)

Philadelphia-based Comcast is increasing its download speeds in the Charleston region. File

Comcast customers in South Carolina and Georgia may notice a bump in their internet speeds after the company improved its fiber cable backbone. 

Eighty-five percent of Comcast's customers in Charleston began seeing faster internet Tuesday after the cable and internet giant made improvements for its slower-speed plans. How much faster depends on what service the customer subscribes to, with increases ranging from 20 percent to 67 percent. Users won't have to do anything to access the quicker connections. 

Its $50 per month "performance" offering, for example, will get a boost to 100 megabits per second from 60 in download speeds. 

Comcast's business strategy calls for a push to offer more customers gigabit speeds and laying fiber cable. Investments in the fiber network have provided more bandwidth and allowed for faster speeds, company spokesman Alex Horwitz said. 

"In doing so, we 'future-proof' our network so that we can provide faster speeds, new products and services, and other enhancements in the future,” he said in a written statement.

Comcast said it has doubled the length of fiber cable in its network across the country in the last four years.

Comcast rolled out super-fast gigabit speeds — or 1,000 megabits per second in download speed — in Charleston in the spring of last year. It was one of the last telecommunications companies in the area to do so. Moncks Corner-based Home Telecom launched the first gigabit internet-powered Nexton development in Summerville in 2013. 

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Gigabit speeds are 40 times faster than the standard definition of broadband internet. Tuesday's announcement from Comcast marked improvements in speed for the bulk of customers who don't need to pay for ultra-fast internet. 

Comcast internet service covers 36 percent of Americans, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The company said in a recent call with investors it has 30.9 million customers. 

Reach Mary Katherine Wildeman at 843-937-5594. Follow her on Twitter @mkwildeman.