I believe everyone should have access to the Internet. It is almost a requirement, especially in these Covid days with virtual learning, etc.. However, this article Comcast Increases Speed of $10 Internet Essentials Package to 50 Mbps – The Streamable states that the low cost Internet Essentials program will have their download speeds basically doubled beginning on March 1, 2021.
That is great, however, many of us low income seniors on fixed incomes do not qualify for Internet Essentials and in an effort to lower their monthly bills have lowered their Comcast Internet plans to Performance Starter which had been $49.95 a month until this month and will now be $54.95 for "only" 25 Mbps which is 1/2 of what the Internet Essentials customers are getting for 1/5 the price.
Now Comcast gets to see great PR for raising the bar for their Internet Essentials customers but in reality all other customers, including us low fixed income seniors are helping to pay for this great PR with increases on their monthly bills with NO corresponding increases in their download speeds.
I am really tempted to contact the local TV station's consumer reporter and inform them of this inequity as well as writing to my local state rep as I am sure they too will be singing the accolades of the increase Comcast is giving to Internet Essential customers but not realizing it is at the expense of all other customers including those who will be living with only 1/2 the download speeds for a 10% increase in billing. It would be great to hear if Comcast has considered increasing ALL lower end packages as well?
I also have the performance starter plan. By making this change on the internet essentials plan, Comcast has tacitly acknowledged that the 25up/3down is not adequate when the whole family is simultaneously working from home and remote schooling. As families on the performance starter also face these same hardships they should be treated fairly and Comcast should also raise their internet speed to 50up/5down. Otherwise I feel this would be unfair and discriminatory and maybe grounds for a lawsuit.
You are 100% correct in stating Comcast "has tacitly acknowledged the 25/3" is not adequate for all "except" those who are paying full (and recently increased) monthly cost of $54.95 to continue to receive the lower service rate. Many of the families on Performance Starter do not qualify for Internet Essentials (IE) because their income may simply disqualify them by $1 but who have family members and possibly multiple childre who need the increase service levels afforded IE customers for work from home and virtual schooling.
What I find the most egregious about this entire matter is how Comcast is using the IE service level increase to garner wonderful PR and accolades sort of like saying, look at us, look what we are doing for the under served while raising the rates on all Internet customers across the board without any equitable increase for the lower income families and seniors who cannot afford anything other than Performance Starter.
If Comcast truly believed in "digital equity" they would increase the Performance Starter level of service to that which they are providing the IE customers.