HBO Go without a cable subscription sounds pretty awesome, right? Being able to pay for a HBO Go subscription like we pay for Netflix? Yes please.
It seems as if Comcast is down with that too, since they are now offering HBO Go without a cable subscription. Sweet! So how much will that be a month? $10? $15? I’ll pay it. Oh wait…Comcast wants me to pay $70 a month for that? No thank you.
Comcast has unveiled a new offering called Internet Plus, which couples 25Mbps broadband with HBO, HBO Go and Streampix, Comacast’s Netflix like service, and a basic cable package beginning at $40 or $50 a month. Sounds pretty good, except that in a year you will be paying upwards of $70 or $80 for that same service. Ouch.
Chances are, you are already paying $50 a month or so for 25Mbps broadband service (most likely from Comcast) which isn’t such a bad deal. But the new Internet Plus plan is a sneaky way for Comcast to get you to sign a new contract, which will be inflated in the future. If the plan didn’t inflate over time and require a set-top box, it wouldn’t be such a bad deal.
It’s no secret that Comcast has a stranglehold on broadband access in most urban areas. In cities like San Francisco and Portland, Comcast is the only option for reliable broadband service. This allows the company to charge whatever they please over time, and even throttle download speeds if they so well desire.
While the Internet Plus bundle may be a good deal for some, it seems like a slap in the face to me. Why would one sign a new contract while already having broadband internet, which provides alternate methods of obtaining HBO programming? Not to mention the need for a Comcast set-top box, which will cost you another $15 or so a month. As far as local channels go, just slap a pair of rabbit ears on your TV and you’re good to go.
Comcast’s Internet Plus offer will expire on January 31st in some markets, and July 31st in others.