Comcast Hides Cheap Internet

Comcast caught-out  hiding cheap broadband Internet plan from consumers.

If you think Comcast has been holding out and giving you a raw deal on your services, it now looks as though you have been right all along. The Federal communications Commission (FCC) has slapped Comcast with an $800,000 fine for failing to actively promote an affordable, standalone broadband service that  was  originally part of an agreement that paved the way for Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal.

Under the original agreement, the FCC required that Comcast offer a standalone broadband service with similar features to those included in bundled broadband and cable services. The FCC stipulated that this independent broadband service should have a minimum download speed of 6mbps and a maximum price of $49.95 and now, subsequent to the latest proceedings, also restricts Comcast from increasing prices until February 2015.

The service from Comcast is called Broadband Performance Starter and is expected to be popular with customers whom only want broadband without another service.

Other concessions that Comcast made as part of the NBC Universal deal include a product called “Internet Essentials” where broadband and subsidized laptops are provided to eligible low income families.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn, who initially notified the FCC with his concerns about Comcast’s non compliance with the NBC Universal deal, said in a statement “Consumers should not be forced to sign up for cable or satellite television as a condition of receiving Internet access.”

“Today’s announcement by the FCC is a huge win for consumers who have fewer and fewer options for obtaining affordable broadband services.”

In a statement, Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice said,  “We look forward to continuing to offer and market Performance Starter in additional ways and with additional outlets,” She said. “We believe this product offers a choice consumers want in the marketplace.”

Better late than never but it’s a shame that Comcast requires a big stick to honor its agreements and provides even more reason to check your Comcast bills and Comcast service offerings closely.

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