Comcast: (CMCSA:) – Get a free report struggles when faced with real competition. That’s because the cable and Internet giant enjoyed a monopoly in most of its markets by design.
Back in the 1980s, every community wanted cable TV, but it required expensive infrastructure. Comcast and other companies went to those towns and villages and offered to spend the money needed to cable them in exchange for exclusivity.
It was a hell of a deal, but at the time it was the only way to get cable across the nation, and it was probably a deal most communities would have to make. There was no streaming cable because there was no Internet yet, and phone-based DSL cable was still years away.
Comcast held a monopoly in many markets until technology advances made it impossible to protect that exclusivity, at least in cable TV. With Internet service, however, many communities still only have one option for consumers, but technology has slowly begun to give people more options.
Satellite internet, even Elon Musk’s Starlink internet, isn’t competitive in price with traditional service, but 5G home internet offers a viable alternative. T-Mobile: (TUMUS) – Get a free report has made a huge foray into the home space with a bold deal that dramatically undercuts Comcast’s prices, and the cable giant’s response is predictable.
T-Mobile is taking a big step into the Internet
T-Mobile offers internet through its 5G network, while Comcast has a traditional wired system. That means whether the phone carrier’s service will work well enough for you will depend on where you live, just like the phone service.
If you live somewhere with a strong signal, 5G should let you stream videos, go to Zoom meetings, and use the Internet as you’d expect. But because performance can vary, T-Mobile is giving customers 15 days to cancel their service and get their money back.
Apart from that, Un-Carrier, as the company calls itself, offers a very simple pricing deal. The company charges new streaming customers $50 a month for Internet service, a price it guarantees as long as you have service.
“We are not like Big Cable. we will never increase your monthly home internet price. Keep your price low with autopay at just $50/month, plus no annual contracts or additional monthly fees,” the company shared. on his website.
Comcast is trying to answer T-Mobile
On the surface, Comcast’s deal looks pretty similar. New home Internet subscribers can get the service for $55 a month as long as they use autopay. That’s where the hunters start to appear, though.
Comcast offers a $10 automatic payment credit if you set up your payment to come out of your bank account immediately. If you choose to use a credit or debit card (which is how most people pay most bills), you only get a $5 credit with a $5 charge.
Asking for bank information rather than accepting a credit or debit card is an old gym trick designed to keep people from de facto canceling their membership after their card expires. It’s something that’s less convenient for customers, which benefits the company exclusively.
It’s not a huge draw, but you have to look at Comcast’s fine print for that. While T-Mobile guarantees its price forever, Comcast’s $55 or $60-a-month deal ends after a year, then automatically jumps to $82 (or $87 if you pay automatically with a credit or debit card ), an increase of approximately 50%.
T-Mobile took huge market share from AT&T and Verizon in the phone space because those two companies used customer-unfriendly practices just like Comcast does. It seems very likely, especially as the company builds out its 5G network, that the same will happen in the internet service space.