After attracting a record 549K high-speed data subs in 3Q, Comcast-justifiably-thinks it knows a little about broadband. That’s why it’s going to deploy the same strategy in ’05 of speed increases and additional apps. The MSO plans to announce formally early next year that customers will see their 3Mbps ramp up to 4Mbps without additional cost (some subs have received notice of the upgrade already). 4Mbps premium customers will see a free upgrade to 5Mbps. "Last year, we doubled the speed for all our customers and introduced a host of new services to [illustrate] that it’s not just the speed, but what you can do with it," a Comcast exec says. "In 2005, we’re going to use the same successful approach. We are planning another round of service introductions" along with speed upgrades. The faster speeds will occur throughout the MSO’s footprint next year. While Comcast didn’t specify what new HSD applications and services would launch, execs have been hyping video instant messaging and music services recently. New gaming services also are on the horizon. Meanwhile, Comcast continues to expand on its portal’s media player, "The Fan," by adding a Sports Fan and even a Finance Fan that feature related video clips.

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Fox Corps CEO Lachlan Murdoch is optimistic about retrans consent after a court ruling effectively shut down broadcast streaming app Locast.

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