As we’ve documented ad nauseam before, cable companies are struggling with falling profits due largely to cord cutting. With over a million customers jumping ship from traditional pay TV every year, the cable companies are finding themselves increasingly unnecessary, apart from one vital service: Internet.
As a result, we’ve seen internet prices steadily creep up even as service doesn’t get any better, and usage caps are extended to more and more markets. Now, Comcast has come up with a fun new way to leverage the only service anyone cares about into more money: Bundling better internet service with its outdated cable packages.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Comcast recently increased speeds for subscribers in the Houston market, but only for customers who are subscribed to cable television as well as internet:
Customers who have the 60-Megabits-a-second tier and whose internet service is bundled with up to four other Comcast products will see their download speeds jump to 150 Mbps. Customers on the 150 Mbps tier with the Starter or Triple Play packages will increase to 250 Mbps.
Customers with the 250-Mbps service will see their speeds jump to either 400 Mpbs or 1 Gbps, depending on the package.
Those speed increases aren’t insignificant. 60Mbps is slow enough that a few people streaming things in HD can cause latency spikes for other clients on the network. 150Mbps should be more than sufficient for a busy household, and 250Mbps takes care of even the nerdiest of homelabbers.
Using internet features as an incentive to keep other products isn’t a new tactic for telecoms companies. AT&T already gives unlimited data to customers that also subscribe to its cell plans or pay TV.
“This year alone, we have boosted speeds for Internet-only customers and customers in packages in more than two dozen different states across the country which added at least 50 Mbps more speed for these customers,” Comcast said in a statement. “In a few of our markets, we are also testing different multi-product packages by changing the Internet tiers for various packages we offer. Importantly, all of our internet tiers can be purchased as a stand-alone service by ANY Xfinity customer.”