By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of Comcast customers across the Twin Cities will begin to see faster Internet service beginning Thursday.

Customers in the company’s “Performance” tier will see speeds go from 25 megabytes per second to 50.

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“Blast” customers will go from 50 to 105, and “Extreme 105” customers will go from 105 to 150 megabytes.

“We look at it from the perspective of adding value to our customers in terms of what they need from us in terms of their service,” Comcast’s Emmett Coleman said.

When it comes to racing for Internet customers, speed is everything. That is why Comcast is giving customers a boost. Coleman, Comcast’s vice president of External Affairs in the Twin Cities region, says performing one small task on your modem could double your Internet speed.

“Take the cord in the back or out of the wall socket and unplug it for 5 to 10 seconds and plug back in,” Coleman said.

There is also an Xfinity My Account app that can be downloaded in order to get what Comcast is calling a “dramatic speed increase.”

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“We’re not kind of rolling this out, you know, parts-of-the city by parts-of-the-city. We’re actually, when we turn this on on Thursday, anybody as soon as they go in and unplug or hit the button on their app, they will be able to take advantage of these speeds,” he said.

University of Minnesota marketing professor George John says he is not surprised by Comcast’s move.

“[Internet speed is] where all the growth is. Cable TV is kind of dormant,” John said.

He says with CenturyLink and others ready to compete, Comcast is trying to keep its customers satisfied by offering faster service for free. John says customers who do a lot of Internet streaming and interactive gaming will notice the biggest difference — with fewer dropouts and faster downloads.

“A lot more streaming of movies and what not, and a lot more interactive games,” John said. “If you’ve got a teenage son, the kid is going to be perfectly happy.”

He says that programs like Skype should see fewer dropouts and should run smoother.

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Both Comcast and CenturyLink have plans to add even faster services to the Twin Cities in the future.

John Lauritsen