Setting up home internet just got easier—and potentially cheaper—thanks to Comcast's new prepaid internet service starter kit.
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The $80 kit, unveiled on Thursday, includes a wireless gateway (router and modem combination), cables, and 30 days worth of internet service with download speeds of up to 10Mbps. It works anywhere a Comcast cable connection is available, and doesn't require credit checks, activation fees, or a service visit.
Once you've plugged in the gateway, you wait 48 hours and then activate the service online. The initial credit expires 30 days after activation, and you can then extend service by seven days at a time for $15, or 30 days at a time for $45.
Those prices appear to be all-inclusive; that is, you won't have to pay additional taxes or equipment rental fees, since you own the gateway. Assuming you can live with a 10Mbps speed (which should be fine for most browsing and video-streaming activities), the new prepaid service represents an exceptional bargain for the first month, since it's hard to find a Comcast-compatible wireless gateway elsewhere that retails for less than $35.
How much the prepaid service saves you on an ongoing basis will depend on the traditional post-paid Xfinity rates in your area. You might be able to pay less than $45 per month for internet if you buy it as part of a bundle plan with TV and phone service. For cord cutters who don't need a TV subscription and rely on their smartphones, though, the prepaid option will likely be cheaper.
There are also no credit checks, and eventually you'll even be able to purchase the starter kit and top-ups at Comcast retail stores with cash if you don't have a credit card or bank account. The kits can initially be bought online or from Boost Mobile stores in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Texas, thanks to Comcast's partnership with Boost. The company says it plans to expand inventory to more Boost and Comcast stores later this year.