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What just happened? It's no secret that Comcast isn't exactly a beloved internet service provider, but every now and then, the company does something that purely benefits consumers. Yesterday was one such time: as part of its commitment to "digital equity," Comcast is doubling the download speed of its low-income internet plan for all participating consumers.
The plan in question is called "Internet Essentials," and typically only offers speeds of 25Mbps for downloads and 3Mbps for uploads. Given that we're in the middle of a global pandemic, it seems Comcast has decided those speeds aren't quite satisfactory anymore.
Moving forward, the $9.95/month Internet Essentials plan will offer down and upstream speeds of 50Mbps and 5Mbps, respectively. That's significantly better than what the subscription previously offered, and it's much more competitive with low-cost plans from other providers.
However, it's still not ideal. Comcast hasn't raised the plan's data cap as part of this move, so users will still be limited to a maximum of 1.2TB per calendar month. Every 50GB used beyond that limit will run you an extra $10 – that could quickly become troublesome if users aren't paying attention to their usage. The 5Mbps upload limit is also a bit on the low side, though it's definitely a slight improvement.
Regardless, yesterday's speed upgrades come at no additional cost to users, so it's difficult to complain too much here – if they'd come with a price hike, we would certainly feel differently.
Again, Comcast's Internet Essentials plan is geared toward low-income households, so if you want to give it a shot, you'll need to meet a few requirements first. These include eligibility for SNAP benefits, Medicaid, SSI, and more.
Once you're signed up, you'll get two months of service free, without a "term contract" or credit check.