Comcast ends FCC broadband probe with new terms, $800,000 payment

By Lee Kaelin on June 28, 2012, 1:30 PM

Comcast Corporation, the US' largest cable company has reached a settlement with the Federal Communications Commission, agreeing to pay a "voluntary contribution" of $800,000 to the US Treasury and to continue offering a reasonably priced, stand-alone high-speed internet service for residents who don't subscribe to the firm's video cable services.

In January 2011, the Justice Department and the FCC approved Comcast's $37 billion purchase of a controlling interest in NBC Universal after a yearlong review on the condition they continued to offer a stand-alone internet service for $49.95 or less with sufficient bandwidth (6Mbps minimum).

The investigation was subsequently launched after the FCC received information that Comcast wasn't adequately marketing the service as previously agreed. "As is often the case with services associated with government orders, the FCC had questions on how the service might have been rolled out in a different or even better way," said Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice.

The two have now agreed new terms as part of a consent decree, which resolves the investigation without the company having to admit to any level of wrongdoing, but they will be required to provide a reasonably priced broadband internet option for customers not getting its cable TV service through to at least Feb 21, 2015.

"Today's action demonstrates that compliance with commission orders is not optional," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. "The remedies announced today will benefit consumers and foster competition, including from online video and satellite providers, by ensuring that standalone broadband is truly available in Comcast's service areas."




User Comments: 5

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Guest said:

So it was a bribe. "Help please dont investigate me! Here is some money so the bad men will go away"....

psycros psycros said:

Sad that the government has to get involved on something like this. Of course, making a utility company provide a reasonably priced service as a condition of operating in an area is hardly a new thing. It boggles the mind how bad Americans are getting screwed with regards to internet service while most of the planet has cheap, fast and widely available connections. And its not just price vs. speed but simple availability, too. The cell carriers and cable companies get insanely rich while 3-4 miles outside of most American towns you can't even get cable or DSL!

MilwaukeeMike said:

Wrong, psycros, the cell carriers are not getting 'insanely rich' Sprint/Nextel for example, loses about $3billion a year and they're stock price is $3. Comcast makes about $4billion a year, which isn't that great considering how much revenue they have.

And the govt isn't making them provide a service as a condition of operating in an area. What article did you read? It was a condition of purchasing $37billion in NBC.

It also says that Comcast was guilty of not 'adequately marketing' their stand-alone service. That's a d!ck move, to be sure.

I didn't know I was getting screwed on my internet service. I pay $50 a month for unlimited 10Mbps. How cheap should it be? What I hate is paying for it on my phone and cable.

likedamaster said:

Wrong, psycros, the cell carriers are not getting 'insanely rich' Sprint/Nextel for example, loses about $3billion a year and they're stock price is $3. Comcast makes about $4billion a year, which isn't that great considering how much revenue they have.

And the govt isn't making them provide a service as a condition of operating in an area. What article did you read? It was a condition of purchasing $37billion in NBC.

It also says that Comcast was guilty of not 'adequately marketing' their stand-alone service. That's a d!ck move, to be sure.

I didn't know I was getting screwed on my internet service. I pay $50 a month for unlimited 10Mbps. How cheap should it be? What I hate is paying for it on my phone and cable.

Wow, I paid $29 a month for unlimited 12 mbps. Getting robbed for sure. Also, it's not unlimited like they say(surprise!). I agree on your other points though.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

and I pay 60 bucks a month for my internet.. 20mps+ dwnload, and 5mps upload..

never gone above 2.75mps dwnload and 1mps upload... what a ripoff..

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