Comcast Unlocks Home-Security Service In San Francisco

Comcast has launched its Xfinity Home security and home-control service in portions of its San Francisco Bay Area service area, as part of the MSO's ongoing efforts to capture revenue in a market segment beyond its traditional triple play.

The Xfinity Home service currently is available in the East Bay and North Bay. Other portions of Comcast service area, including San Francisco, South Bay, West Bay and Monterey/Salinas will launch at a future date, the company said.

"This cutting-edge product leverages the power and flexibility of our fiber-optic broadband network to bring remote energy management and live video monitoring of the home to our teach-savvy and environmentally conscious customers in the region," Curt Henninger, regional senior vice president of Comcast's California Region, said in announcing the launch.

The MSO also has rolled out the service, which it formerly called Xfinity Home Security, in markets including Houston, Portland, Ore., New Hampshire, Denver, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. Comcast first launched it in Houston in mid-2010.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, on the operator's fourth quarter 2011 earnings call last month, said the operator will expand Xfinity Home "virtually nationwide" this year.

Xfinity Home provides traditional home security components, including police and fire alarm dispatch via 24-hour professional monitoring, as well as the ability to adjust digital thermostats, turn lights on or off and watch secure live streaming video from wireless cameras while away from home.

The Xfinity Home Preferred Package starts at $39.95 per month, plus a $199 one-time installation fee. Comcast requires a three-year minimum-term service contract. According to the operator, customers of the service are eligible to receive up to a 20% discount on their homeowners insurance.

Comcast uses a third-party alarm-monitoring provider, COPS Monitoring, based in Williamstown, N.J., to handle emergency dispatch functions.

Xfinity Home is provided through the broadband-based "smart home" platform from Redwood City, Calif.-based iControl Networks, in which Comcast is an investor. The service provides customizable settings, such as setting up real-time e-mail or text alerts when doors open or close or when motion detectors are triggered. In addition, Xfinity Home includes a tablet-like touchscreen panel with a menu of widgets that provide weather, news, traffic, and sports scores.

Customers also can download the free Xfinity Home Security app from Apple's iTunes App Store, to securely access home security and automation features including live video streaming via an iPad or iPhone. More info on Xfinity Home is available at

Last month, Comcast inked a deal with Redwood City, Calif.-based EcoFactor to introduce a new service to let customers manage energy consumption. The service, expected to debut later this year, could potentially reduce the costs of heating or cooling homes by 10% to 30%, the companies claimed.