Comcast has started selling Xfinity Prepaid Internet Service, which lets customers in the company’s existing service area get online for seven or 30 days.
Thursday’s announcement follows a similar offering by Verizon, which offers speeds up to 25 Mbps for $60 a month. Comcast has teamed with Sprint’s Boost Mobile prepaid brand to offer $80 starter kits, which come with a DOCSIS 3.0 gateway and 30 days of initial service. Refills, which come with a $5 discount for Boost customers, are priced at $15 a week and $45 a month. No credit check is required.
“This offering is all about providing customers a flexible and predictable service that can accommodate individual lifestyles and financial needs,” said John Dixon, VP of Comcast’s Consumer Services Group. “Our prepaid service gives people more control over their monthly bills and lets families get easy Internet access for their home whenever they want it.”
Comcast has spent years testing earlier iterations of prepaid internet. Last summer, it had announced plans for rolling out the internet package as well as a prepaid TV service. The TV service is still due out this year, Thursday’s announcement affirmed. Beyond Verizon, many of the skinny-bundle services promote the fact that they carry no long-term contract commitments, enabling consumers to add or drop service at will, an easier option when the signal is being transmitted online.
A key target for Xfinity Prepaid is people without a savings or checking account. The FDIC has identified some nine million of these “unbanked” U.S. households, and 24.5 million more it deems “underbanked,” meaning they had a banking account but went outside the banking system for other financial services.
The prepaid internet service is available in more than 800 Boost Mobile stores in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Texas, and will be in more than 4,000 Boost Mobile stores across Comcast’s footprint by the end of the year. Pricing and package options are detailed at xfinityprepaid.com.