Comcast Internet Essentials: First Impressions

With being disappointed with the customer service of Verizon, and the availability of Internet Essentials from Comcast, I decided to return to Comcast, but only with this program. Comcast Internet Essentials is intended to help select low income groups to get low-speed internet for a reasonable price. In my case, I receive 15MBPS down and 2MBPS up for $10 + taxes and fees. The reason why I call this low speed is FCC defines broadband as a 25/5MBPS connection.

The service was installed by a technician who had to come and set my service up since I had FIOS. While I already have a cable modem, and router, I was told by the technician that I had to use their hardware, but it is free. Installing the service took about an hour with full bootup taking as long as 15 minutes.

The Good

The good is actually the price/service. While I am not technically receiving broadband service, it is good enough for myself. I have been able to watch Youtube videos, and handle SIP calls. I even used my phone connected to an ATA to cancel my Verizon service. While I will probably have issue with the service if I did a lot of content creation, for my general needs and being the only person in my household, the speed is tolerable. Another advantage is the price. Comcast says service will be $10+tax/fees. I don’t know the extra costs I will have but will guess it to be an extra $5. Considering my 50MBPS connection with Verizon was $50, this will be a great help on my budget.

The Bad

The worst thing is according to the technician, I have to use Comcast’s hardware. I can’t use the DOCSIS 3 modem I already own, nor can I use the high-quality router with all of my settings already in the router. I guess they do this to reduce calls for support on devices that are not theirs, but they still should allow customers to use their hardware. In my experience, all ISPs buy bulks junk devices and passes them on to the customer. I have a legitimate concern that I will have problems with this router, and may have to get it reset, or replaced. I never had such problems with my hardware because I buy not junk.


This service is not for everyone. If you 3 or 4 people in the household, or if you do a lot of content creation within the Internet, this service is not for you. If you do get this service, be warned of the low speeds. Most of my activities is listening to music or watching videos. Earlier today, I tested watching full length television shows, and for by myself, this worked well. Would I be confident with 3 or 4 people watching videos on four different devices, no – but for a couple of people, this should meet their needs.

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