Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, launched a competitive counterattack against Verizon’s fast-growing FiOS service as it rolled out a super high-speed wideband offering to residential and business customers that could offer speeds in excess of 100 megabits per second within the next year. Based on DOCSIS 3.0, Comcast’s new wideband service will be deployed in Boston, southern New Hampshire and in areas of Philadelphia and New Jersey within the next few weeks. (DOCSIS 3.0 service is already available to customers in Minneapolis-St. Paul.) Current residential video customers will be able to select from two service tiers: (1) Ultra, which provides download speeds of up to 22 Mbps at a rate of $62.95 per month, and (2) Extreme, which offers speeds in excess of 50 Mbps for $139.95 per month. Comcast will also boost download and upload speeds for existing residential broadband customers, doubling speeds on its “Performance” and “Performance Plus” tiers to 12 Mbps and 16 Mbps, respectively. Comcast aims to deploy wideband in six additional major markets within the next few months and to boost broadband speeds for all of its customers by the end of 2010. Proclaiming, “these speeds are only a preview of what’s to come,” Comcast Online Services senior vice president Mitch Bowling touted wideband as “a game-changer for the industry” that will “provide the capability of delivering dramatically faster speeds in excess of 160 Mbps in the future.”