Comcast Only Upgrading Internet Speeds For Its Pay TV Subscribers

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Comcast has announced speed increases in a few markets, but interestingly enough, those that don't subscribe to its Pay TV service aren't getting the upgrade. Those in Houston and the Oregon/Southwest Washington are getting speed increases right now, with those on the 60Mbps plan getting bumped to 150Mbps, the 150Mbps subscribers are getting bumped up to 250Mbps and 250Mbps customers are either getting the 400Mbps or 1Gbps speed plan. And this is all being done at no extra charge. But according to the Houston Chronicle, "only those who bundle Internet with cable television and other services… will see their speeds go up at no extra charge." Essentially Comcast is fighting back against the many subscribers that are cutting the cord.

Like many other cable and satellite providers, Comcast has seen a steady decrease in the number of pay TV subscribers, losing 96,000 in the most recent quarter. Pay TV services are still the bread and butter for most companies like Comcast, so it needs to find a way to keep these customers. And giving speed increases to those that do subscribe to its TV service might be the way to do it. Comcast has been adding more Internet customers, while losing TV customers, to the point where there are more Internet customers than TV customers now. Which wasn't the norm just a few years ago, but many are now opting to cut the cord and save money on TV.

So far, Comcast has only done this in two markets, but that doesn't mean that it won't do it in other markets once it decides to upgrade speeds elsewhere. Comcast could also decide to drop the data cap for those that subscribe to its TV service (and other services), which would force heavy data users to subscribe to TV – depending on the price difference. Now this is certainly going to get the attention of regulators, so it's possible that Comcast could be under investigation in the near future. But with the way the FCC is killing off Net Neutrality, Comcast may be able to get away with it after all.

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