Comcast Is Doing What??

After a year of embarrassing customer-service blunders and a botched attempt to take over Time Warner Cable, Comcast is trying to improve its image by offering free Internet-speed upgrades.

But there’s a catch. (With Comcast, there’s always a catch.)

Earlier this month the company announced that it will increase speeds for new and existing customers in the Northeast who subscribe to specified “Triple Play” bundles of video, voice and broadband services. These packages don’t come cheap, so in reality the upgrade applies only to certain high-paying customers.

In other words: classic Comcast!

The company now has more Internet subscribers — 22.4 million as of March — than cable subscribers. With this mushrooming base Comcast likely doesn’t feel the need to provide better service to all of its customers; after all, it makes more money on its Triple Play subscribers than on those enrolled in its Internet Essentials program, which serves low-income residents.

Just a handful of monopoly-minded providers control the U.S. broadband market. If that market featured even a semblance of actual competition, people who want affordable and fast broadband would have some choices. As it stands, Comcast can afford to leave some customers lagging behind, with little fear that these customers can jump to another provider.

No matter how much bad press Comcast invites it just isn’t getting the message. Tell Comcast that everyone — and that means all of its 22.4 million subscribers — deserves access to speedy and affordable Internet services.