Comcast Getting People To Pay For What Should Be Free

from the amazing dept

My cable modem service was originally supplied by AT&T Broadband – which used to advertise WiFi routers on their website, and encourage people to set up home networks. Now that Comcast owns them, it appears to be a different story altogether. They’re now offering a “special package” for those who want WiFi networks at home. This “special package” seems more like “extortion” to me. It involves paying $25 more per month, plus paying a $100 installation fee to have someone come set up your WiFi router and two computers. An additional computer costs another $50. The “benefit” is slightly higher speeds, and having someone set up the WiFi, for those who can’t figure it out themselves. It’s a little unclear if this new service is required for anyone who wants WiFi, or if it’s just a “premium service” for those who don’t know any better.

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Comments on “Comcast Getting People To Pay For What Should Be Free”

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Bob says:

Read the article

You say “Getting people to pay for what should be free” — but the referenced article says you get a different box that combines the cable modem, wireless access point and router (as opposed to just a cable modem), a wireless network adapter (for the second computer), an increase in download speeds from 1.5Mbps to 2.5Mbps, access for up to five computers, 24-hour tech support for networking (“a new level of help for Comcast”), and a visit from a technician to do the install. Why should this be free? What’s more, “Customers later can add PCs with their own adapters without paying an extra installation fee.”
I’m on Comcast (abandoned by AT&T in the merger) and already have to pay extra each month for each additional PC and provide my own hardware. If I had 5 machines, the monthly service fee under this new plan would be almost exactly what I would have to pay now, and I would not have to buy a wireless access point/router and at least one wireless adapter.
Now “charging more than they should” I might believe, but it does seem that you’re getting more, and I think you’ve been unfair in suggesting that all the extra stuff should come at no charge.
You also say “It’s a little unclear if this new service is required for anyone who wants WiFi”, but the article says “The debut of Comcast Home Networking won’t affect service or pricing for customers who set up their own home networks.”
The article may be incorrect, but I don’t think it’s unclear.
Sorry, but it appears that you skimmed this one too quickly.

Chad Nickless says:

Re: Read the article

Have you ever tried talking to tech support about ANY lan/wan issues? Not any of their levels of tech support have a clue. I’d very much like to hear of anyone who has gotten a connectivity issue resloved successfully. They’ll set it up, charge you for it, but are unable and unwilling to provide support for the service.

RPM says:

Comcast & wifi

Before Comcast took over from ATT in our ares my wireless worked perfectly.

After Comcast took over I would get a stray signal named “SmartStream” that would wipe out my wifi signal.

I talked to Comcast tech support endlessly and informed them of this other signal. They played ignorant.

I looked up smartstream on the web and it turns out that it is a product of Motorola used for video on demand/pay tv.

I tried for months with tech support fron Comcast, Dell, Linksys to make the wifi work again with no success.

I think that comcast is using smartstream for their pay tv service and it is jamming the wireless router.

I am just guessing though

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