An FCC investigation found that Comcast service representatives weren’t adequately informing consumers that they had an option to purchase only broadband service of at least six megabits per second for $49.95. As a condition of Comcast’s NBCUniversal deal, Comcast had agreed to “visibly offer and actively market” the stand-alone Internet service for three years.
The cable giant agreed to extend the availability of its $49.95 service for another year and take steps to ensure that its customer-service agents and marketing materials made clear the broadband service was available to all consumers. The company will also pay $800,000 to the U.S. government to settle the investigation.
In a statement Wednesday, Comcast said the FCC had questions on how it rolled out the stand-alone broadband service and the company was “pleased that Comcast and the FCC were able to address such issues cooperatively and constructively in a consensual manner.” The statement didn’t address the substance of the FCC complaint.
The broadband-only service allows customers to get high-speed Internet access at a lower price than bundled products that include cable and phone service.
This is the second time that the FCC has found Comcast hasn’t lived up to the deal it agreed to when acquiring control of NBCUniversal from General Electric Co. GE +1.67% in January 2011. Earlier this year, the FCC ordered Comcast to move Bloomberg Television into “news neighborhoods,” or clusters of other cable news channels with NBC-owned competitors such as CNBC and MSNBC. Comcast is appealing that decision.