Comcast recently introduced Extreme 105–its new 105mbps high-speed broadband service. It sounds awesome at face value, but Comcast managed to screw it up in not one, but two ways that make it a horrible deal.
Would you like to have blazing fast 105mbps broadband? Sure, why not? It would be awesome to have high-speed broadband that is 10 times faster than what I have now. But, the combination of an astronomical cost, and a data cap quickly spoil the dream.
First, let’s look at the cost. The Comcast Extreme 105 broadband service is $105 per month. $105? Granted, $105 for 105mbps is only one dollar per megabyte. It’s less than twice what I pay now for service that is only about a tenth as fast–so bang for the buck it doesn’t seem like a bad deal in comparison. But, it’s Internet access, not a used car payment.
Still, there are more affordable broadband options for those who don’t really need 105mbps, or can’t stomach the $105 per month. The area where Comcast really drops the ball is by placing a 250GB monthly data cap on the service.
If you were streaming videos from Netflix (something that Comcast charges a toll for), and actually maxing out that blazing 105mbps broadband speed, you could theoretically max out your data allotment for the month in a matter of hours. Like, five of them.
The Comcast press release for the Extreme 105 broadband service illustrates the benefits of the blazing speed. Comcast provides a little chart explaining that a 4GB HD movie that takes an hour and a half to download at 6mbps can be downloaded in a mere four minutes with Extreme 105, or a standard definition TV show that usually takes seven minutes can be downloaded in only 20 seconds.
What it doesn’t go out of its way to clarify, though, is that the Extreme 105 service can also hit the 250GB data cap in a fraction of the time. And, Comcast is notoriously quick to take action when customers hit the data capacity.
Extreme 105 sounds awesome. It’s no Google Gigabit broadband, but it’s significantly faster than current broadband speeds. The cost might be justifiable for someone who needs the speed–it is a lower cost per gigabit than most other offerings. But, it just doesn’t make sense to offer a blazing fast broadband service, expect users to pay a hefty premium for the privilege, and then cap its usage at 250GB.
Comcast should go sit in the corner and think about what its done.
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