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Bright House announces increase in Internet speed for bay area

Bright House Networks said Tuesday it would give its customers faster Internet service at no extra cost come January.

Bright House said customers now receiving its Lightning 35 service with download speeds of up to 35 megabits per second will be bumped up to 50 Mbps; Lightning 75 customers will receive 100 Mbps; and Lightning 150 will increase to 200 Mbps.

These Internet packages, Bright House said, also would see increases in upload speeds, in addition to upload speeds for its Lightning 300 plan.

A megabit refers to the transfer of 1 million bits of information. A two-hour movie takes 24 minutes to download for someone with 5 Mbps Internet compared to 1.5 minutes for someone with 100 Mbps, according to the website Fastmetrics.com.

A Bright House news release said the change involved customers throughout the Tampa Bay area, including Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties, and other Central Florida counties served by the company.

Google announced last month that it is exploring whether it can bring its Web service, Google Fiber, to Tampa. That service would provide Internet speeds of 1 gigabit, or the transmission of 1 billion bits of information per second. That would allow the download of a two-hour movie in 8 seconds.

RELATED: Why did Google Fiber pick Tampa? Credit the area's emerging tech and startup scenes

Bright House indicated its announcement is unrelated to Google's possible foray into the Tampa Bay market. In fact, Bright House almost exactly a year ago made a similar announcement about bumping up customer Internet speeds.

Charter Communications announced in May that it plans a merger with Bright House and Time Warner Cable. That deal is still pending.

Contact William R. Levesque at levesque@tampabay.com. Follow @ Times_Levesque.

Bright House announces increase in Internet speed for bay area 11/10/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 8:46am]
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