Comcast Is Offering a New Prepaid Brand: NOW

Comcast is launching a new prepaid brand called NOW offering wireline Internet, mobile, payTV and access to Comcast’s WiFi hotspots:

Xfinity remains the postpaid brand.

Today, I received email from my wireline Internet provider (AT&T) indicating they intended to raise my price by $5/month starting in June. This, after previously negotiating in January 2024 a reduction in price for monthly service from $88.00/month to $56.00/month (which was supposed to be good for a year).

Really, the $5/month increase is intended to incentivize me to sign up for auto-pay for which there would be a corresponding $5/month discount offsetting the increase. Given AT&T has advised my personal information, apparently including my full social security number was compromised in their recently admitted breach, now is not a good time for AT&T to be asking to store additional personal information. I guess that “free” credit monitoring isn’t “free” after all.

So, I’m giving Comcast another chance and will try its NOW prepaid offering. I’m opting for 100 Mbps service at $30/month. That’s inclusive of taxes and the equipment is also included and, according to Comcast, mine to keep albeit locked to Comcast’s NOW prepaid service. Further, Comcast will “make the tap hot”, without requiring me to pay for a technician visit should that be necessary (the dealbreaker when I tried to move to Xfinity postpaid in January). 100 Mbps may not sound all that exciting but it’s four times faster than what AT&T is able to deliver.

Because it is Comcast, I’m still skeptical as to whether they’ll deliver on their representations but, perhaps, the prepaid service being new they’ll be willing to make the effort. We shall see.

As an aside, the agent I spoke with did inquire about my mobile service. NOW Mobile is $25/month for “unlimited” everything. When I explained I didn’t need “unlimited” data and was paying Mobi $10/month, she readily and cheerfully admitted she was not going to be able to beat that. Uncharacteristically for Comcast, the attempt was a soft sell. I don’t at all mind companies asking for additional business, so long as it is not a hard sell.

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Is that internet offering using cell service or broadband cable line? If it’s wired that’s not a bad price at all.

Honestly all these NOW offerings seem to be very competitive.

It’s wireline Internet and, indeed, pricing is competitive.

The dilemma, for me, with Comcast is and always has been its reliability and, when needed, dealing with support. Ten years ago I left Comcast for AT&T precisely because reliability issues forced me to deal with Comcast support. At the time, some opined I would find AT&T’s support to be every bit as bad as Comcast’s. That’s now proven to be true but for ten years there was no need to deal with AT&T’s support.

Hopefully, Comcast has solved its reliability issues in my area over the last ten years and this install works as advertised. :crossed_fingers:

I don’t know what the reliability in your area will be like (it’s been rock solid here), but at least dealing with support isn’t like bashing yourself in the head with a hammer anymore IMHO.

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Before moving to Florida, I had Comcast service in New Hampshire where it was rock solid also. The challenge in south Florida is much of the network infrastructure is underground where there is a high water table. Much of what are now residential areas in south Florida were once part of the Everglades. Nevertheless, I’m hoping reliability will be sufficiently satisfactory.

Happy to hear that. The experience adds to my cautious optimism this will work out.

As long as you write down the support phone number, they have made it nearly impossible to find it. But I agree support is not bad anymore.

Comcast is the only high speed internet option for at least another year till Windstream fiber rolls out but I won’t hold my breath on it being any good. Comcast has been reliable, maybe a short outage every other month.

After a cordial enough but ultimately unproductive chat with support and as I expected, getting this up and running requires a technician visit. At least, they’re not talking about a charge for the visit.

The equipment arrived in a NOW branded box. It’s looks like a probably previously used standard gateway with Xfinity branding. There’s a sticker indicating it’s “customer owned equipment”. It would make sense to reuse older equipment swapped out for postpaid customers upgrading for the prepaid offering.

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Comcast’s technician arrived and is done. As suspected, the tap feeding my condo was turned off. With that corrected, my NOW Internet service is activated. It was an easy fix but credit where credit is due, the technician was efficient and polite. Perhaps, Comcast’s support has indeed changed for the better. There was no charge for the visit, which is as it should be since the issue was their equipment.

I’m getting the advertised 100 Mbps downloads for which I signed up. Upload speed is 10 Mbps. Comcast really ought to bump the upload speed to 20 Mbps to meet the new FCC definition of broadband. I do have the option of going 200/20 for $45/month but will wait and see on that. For now, I’ll monitor the stability of the 100/10 connection at $30/month.

The next step, for me, is getting the gateway into bridge mode to connect my already existing mesh WiFi.

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Placing the Comcast gateway (supplied at no additional charge and mine to keep with no monthly rental) in bridge mode turned out to be trivial. So far, this seems like it will work out. :crossed_fingers: it stays that way.

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For reference I have gigabit internet from Xfinity and my upload speed is 25 Mbps.

Screenshot 2024-04-27 234403

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Symmetrical download and upload speeds are among the reasons fiber is growing in popularity. Cable Internet has long been asymmetrical.

Here’s the thing; broadband is now defined as a minimum off 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload. Comcast displays a “Broadband Facts” label showing 10 Mbps upload speeds for both NOW Internet tiers.

I’m not running any server farms over my home Internet connection, so, I expect, 10 Mbps uploads to be sufficient. That said, it no longer, according to the FCC, meets the definition of broadband and, therefore, is not supposed to be advertised as broadband. Theoretically, advertising service as broadband when it is not is subject to regulatory action.

And; your speed test suggests you are getting less than the gigabit speed for which you are paying. Comcast says "Typical download speed should be higher for its gigabit tier:

Screenshot 2024-04-28 at 1.20.08 PM

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I did get a network switch to hardwire both my home server and main pc which noticeably dropped the speed by 100mbps or so but yeah not getting that.

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