Comcast has quietly doubled the max downstream speed of its prepaid internet product, while keeping the upstream speed unchanged.
The updated product now delivers downstream speeds up to 20 Mbps, up from 10 Mbps, and continues to deliver up to 1 Mbps in the upstream direction. Those speeds are still below the FCC's broadband definition of 25 Mbps down by 3 Mbps up.
Comcast confirmed that the downstream speed increase for the prepaid product took effect on Aug. 1, 2017.
That increase arrived about five months after Comcast commercially launched the Xfinity Prepaid Internet service, which is being sold online and in several Boost Mobile stores (Boost is a prepaid unit of Sprint) located in Comcast’s service footprint.
Comcast began testing prepaid internet service in 2012 offering just 3 Mbps down/768 Kbps up, and has been targeting the offering to consumers without bank accounts or those who otherwise don’t qualify for a post-paid service. Comcast’s prepaid internet doesn’t require credit checks or annual contracts.
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Comcast has not announced how many customers have signed on. To keep the cannibalization of its post-paid internet service in check, Xfinity Prepaid service can’t be obtained at an address that has an active billed-service account with Comcast.
Comcast is selling the prepaid internet option for $45 for 30 days of service, or $15 for seven days of service. Customers are also on the hook for a one-time equipment and startup fee of $35 that includes the refurbished wireless gateway/modem.
Comcast is also testing a prepaid TV service in some markets.
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