In a move to offer much needed flexibility for lower income customers in Philadelphia, Comcast is offering pre-paid Internet service that can be activated by calling 1-855-75PREPAID. So far, this offer is only available in select Northeast regions, such as Delaware, some parts of Pennsylvania, and a portion of New Jersey.
The impact of this new policy is being anticipated by Comcast and consumers alike—if the call-in number makes it more convenient for the customer and the cable MSO, there is a good chance that the call-in format for prepaid Internet service will be rolled out in other cities and regions.
Previously, consumers who wanted prepaid Internet service had to visit a retail store. The call-in number changes that, which should make obtaining prepaid Internet service that much more convenient.
Compared to traditional Internet service which comes in several speed tiers, the prepaid option maxes out at 3Mbps.The starter kit is $69.95, which comes with 30 days of Internet service. Afterwards, consumers can re-up for another 30 days for $45 or 7 days for $15. There are no contracts required, no credit checks, and no social security numbers to submit. To qualify, a household must be located in the select area and must not be currently signed up with Comcast.
Though the prepaid option does not match traditional Internet plans in speed, it at least offers consumers with bad credit or no bank accounts the opportunity to get reliable internet service in their own home without having to rely on the benevolence of others. Though far from perfect, it does offer unmatched flexibility for low-income consumers who need affordable Internet service. If Comcast’s prepaid initiative is a resounding success, watch for other cable MSOs and ISPs to follow its lead in offering more Internet service options.