Comcast usually ups its rates on January 1st. This year is no exception but a few rates have gone down and/or offer more speed. It’s likely that some of these changes have existed for a while, and we haven’t noticed.
The general strategy seems to be to give a bit more download bandwidth to the lower priced plans while upping prices for the higher speed plans. Offering more download speed is generally not a problem as they should have plenty of capacity on their network. However, the download speed is always qualified as “up to” the rate, so your actual download speed may be much less. Comcast’s upload speeds remain anemic, in contrast to most municipal networks that offer symmetrical upload and download speeds.
Here are the changes we noticed:
- The Performance Starter plan used to be capped at 15 mbs (megabits per second) download, but is now capped at 25 mbs. The pricing is unchanged at $49.95/month.
- The Performance Internet plan capped at 100 mbs has actually had its price reduced, from $84.95/month to $77.95/month
- The Blast! package rates was capped at 250 mbs and is now 300 mbs, but its price will go from $94.95/month to $97.95/month
- There is a new Extreme Pro package available with up to 600 mbs download priced at $102.95/month
- The Gigabit Internet package has also had its price raised from $104.95/month to $107.95/month
- Certain other plans, like a 50mbs and 200mbs plans, are no longer available
We realize that many customers bundle in cable and telephony services. This makes it very hard to figure out what the true cost of internet is. Also, like most ISPs, Comcast offers initial new subscriber discounts that make costs much more affordable for the first year.
Until a municipal network is built, we all have to deal with Comcast’s pricing. If you have succeeded in negotiating them down to a lower rate, we’d love to hear your stories. With no real competition, it’s not an option unless you are content to get lower speed rates from a cellphone service over a 4G or 4G LTS service.
Comcast doesn’t highlight it, but it does offer a $9.95/month (plus taxes) plan for up to 15mbs. Its Internet Essentials plan though is only available to qualified households. You qualify if you are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others. Other restrictions may apply.
We checked the prices of some local and national municipal networks and the pricing and speeds offered haven’t changed. Over the last year, new municipal networks have opened locally or will be opening soon in communities like Shutesbury and Plainfield. This is too many for us to put in a table.
With luck in one to 2 years Northampton will begin constructing its own municipal network and we can all benefit from lower cost true fiber to the home.