It is no secret that people’s reliance on home-based internet connections had increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more people moved to the work-from-home environment, ISPs had to revise what they were offering to the home consumers. Almost a year into the pandemic, however, Comcast now has been compelled to improve the download and upload speeds for the low-cost plans it provides for home users. The $10-per-month plan had faced so much criticism from users for offering minimal download and upload speeds of 25Mbps and 3Mbps. Following the protests, Comcast has decided to double the download speeds and increase the upload speeds to 5Mbps.
Starting from the 1st of March, the low-income plan of Comcast internet would offer the maximum download speed of 50Mbps and the upload speeds of 5Mbps. It will be a relief for thousands of students, professionals, and other users who rely on the cost-effective plan from the ISP. Considering that Comcast is serving a wide user-base across the nation, this decision will be impressive indeed. It is worth noting, however, that users will still have the 1.2TB data cap. For every extra 50GB that they use, users will have to pay $10. As a safety measure, Internet Essentials subscribers won’t have to pay an additional fee of more than $30. Students are also asking Comcast to remove the data cap, considering how the usage patterns have changed in recent months.
It is interesting to see that Comcast wasn’t too happy to make this change. For context, the ISP offered even lower speeds of 15Mbps download and 2Mbps upload before the pandemic happened. Even when it knew the increasing demand, the company just upped the limit to 25Mbps and 3Mbps, respectively. Even now, the company says that 25Mbps/3Mbps is a good set of speed for most people and that the request to improve the rates was unnecessary. However, these comments from Ajit Pai didn’t find much resonance in the customer-base of the Comcast internet services, especially those who can’t pay more than $10-month for internet services.
It was reported that households with more than one student were having a tough time with the low-income plan from Comcast. It was said that the kids had to refresh webpages multiple times before they could join a Zoom meeting. Similarly, college students had faced problems while trying to attend virtual classes and lab resources from their homes. Such incidents had translated into a huge number of complaints on the Comcast site and comments on social media. Of course, the company has faced pressure from lawmakers to create a better environment for its customers, especially after the firm decided to modify its data-cap regulations for areas that didn’t have a data-cap earlier. For now, however, users have to be satisfied with the better-than-before speeds from the ISP.