If you live in a non-Google Fiber market, you’re paying too much for Comcast’s ‘Gigabit’ internet.
Google Fiber is already in select locations in Atlanta. It’s coming soon to Nashville. In both of these markets, Comcast’s competing service, Gigabit, is priced at $70 a month with a three-year contract or $140 if you elect not to sign on the dotted line. For $70 (or $140), the company offers 1 Gbps download and 35 Mbps upload without usage caps — eerily similar to Google’s packaged offering.
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If you don’t live in a Google Fiber market, the $70 package doesn’t even exist. Chicago, for example, is a place of interest for Google. In Chicago, Comcast’s cheapest Gigabit offering is its $140 plan.
After the pricing disparity was uncovered last week, Comcast responded to an Ars Technica piece by claiming the $70 plan is available to Chicago residents; it just wasn’t being promoted. ‘Promoted’ might be the wrong word here. It appears the $70 option is actively being hidden from users.
Even with a VPN giving me a Chicago location, inputing a Chicago address and zip code, and confirming that the address given was within Comcast’s Gigabit service area, the $70 option was nowhere to be found. I eventually managed to find it, only to have it disappear immediately after inputting the address.
This begs the question: is an option really ‘available’ if you hide it from users? It’s not just users, either. In the press release announcing the Chicago launch of its Gigabit offering, the $70 tier was noticeably absent.
The every-day price of the new service with no contract is $139.95 plus taxes and fees. Comcast will test promotional pricing during the trial period. New and current Chicago area customers can visit Xfinity.com/gig to learn about the new service and request additional information.
The link, in case you were wondering, takes you to the pricing table shown in the screenshot above (after you click “Learn more”).