The change in its approach had started with its acquisition of NBC which slowly but has been continuing ever since. Recently, Comcast has further expanded its Essentials coverage in an efforts to serve people of diverse income backgrounds. The Essentials by Comcast is no longer limited to its internet service but also now bundles together cable TV, home phone and internet at a reasonably low price with basic features.
This move will further strengthen the company’s presence in major U.S. cities and will especially cater to senior citizens living solely on retirement income. Reviewing the internet packages under Essentials, the users are provided with basic internet for as low as $10/month with speeds ranging around 10Mbps. Though the offered speed does not qualify the FCC’s definition of a broadband connection but the low price tag will still draw new sales largely from senior citizens and families without kids.
The Essentials program requires applicants to fully comply with its rules as families with more than one kid are not allowed to participate. However, the program will encourage the senior population irrespective of their income levels which appear promising to market investors to be confident on company’s annual earnings.
It is believed that the company was largely motivated by the state regulators that pushed strongly for the company to include all income groups. Most notably, the California Public Utility Commission played a vital role in pushing Comcast for the current change. It is important to know that the company has a big share of pay-TV service in the state, especially in large metropolises such as L.A. and San Francisco.
Initially Comcast objected to the time frame and prices suggested by the California Public Utility Commission citing them as unrealistic to the market conditions. Though it is true that the senior citizens often take time to adopt to the new changes but broadband or High-Speed internet is no longer a change that is hard enough for them to adopt. The Essentials was first launched as a test case in the San Francisco which yielded considerable results pushing company to try it in the Palm Beach County, Florida soon after.
Similar to Comcast’s Essentials, other major cable internet providers also need to adjust their packages to include elderly and low-income families to not only avoid regulators’ wrath but also to help the penetration of broadband internet across the country. This will not only benefit the low-income groups, but will definitely add more value to the companies’ stakeholders on a longer run.