Comcast expands prepaid push under 'NOW' brand

Comcast is diving deeper into the prepaid game with a portfolio of relatively low-cost Internet, mobile and pay-TV products under the 'NOW' label.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

April 17, 2024

3 Min Read
Comcast NOW branding on tablet and smartphone.
(Source: Comcast)

Comcast is pumping up its prepaid service portfolio.

The operator announced Wednesday that it is launching a wave of low-cost, prepaid Internet, mobile and pay-TV products under the "NOW" brand. Comcast is rolling out the expanded prepaid portfolio amid the likely demise of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which the operator is already addressing with products such as Internet Essentials.

Here's how Comcast's NOW-branded offerings stack up:

  • NOW TV – A lineup of 40-plus networks including AMC, Discovery Channel and Food Network along with Peacock's ad-supported streaming tier and more than two-dozen ad-supported streaming channels for $20 per month. Comcast introduced NOW TV nearly a year ago. The company supports the service (via its Xfinity Stream app) on web browsers, iOS and Android mobile devices, the Xumo Stream Box, Amazon Fire TVs, and devices that support Chromecast and AirPlay.

  • NOW Internet – Downstream Internet speeds of 100 Mbit/s ($30 per month) and 200 Mbit/s ($45 per month), plus unlimited data and a Comcast-supplied gateway. Comcast entered the prepaid Internet market in late 2012, when it started out with a 3 Mbit/s offering. Customers already enrolled in the Xfinity Prepaid service will still be able to refill their current service online, but NOW Internet will be the focus going forward, an official said.

  • NOW Mobile – Comcast's first move into the prepaid mobile market. Comcast is selling NOW Mobile for $25 per month per line. The new offering includes access to more than 23 million Comcast-operated Wi-Fi hotspots. A Comcast official confirmed that NOW Mobile must be combined with Comcast's home broadband service, including its traditional postpaid broadband offerings as well as NOW Internet. Comcast recently cut the price on some of its Xfinity Mobile postpaid plans.

  • NOW WiFi Pass – Unlimited access to Comcast's Wi-Fi network for $20 for 30 days.

Related:Comcast cuts price on some mobile plans

NOW TV and Wi-Fi Pass are available in all Comcast markets. The operator has launched NOW Internet and NOW Mobile in Hartford, Connecticut; Houston and Miami, and will be launching it across all markets in the "coming weeks."

"Consumers have told us they want low-cost, easy-to-use connectivity and entertainment options that deliver the same reliability and consistency of our leading Xfinity services," Dave Watson, President and CEO of Connectivity and Platforms, Comcast, said in a statement.

Charter debuts budget TV packages

Charter Communications also made a bigger push into the low-cost arena, announcing two new offerings: Spectrum TV Stream and Spectrum Stream Latino.

Related:Comcast Pitches Pre-Paid Internet Service

Spectrum TV Stream features 90-plus channels, including networks from partners such as Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery for $39.99 per month. Spectrum Stream Latino includes 45-plus Spanish-language networks for $24.99 per month.

The packages also include access to "thousands" of on-demand titles. Both services are delivered through the Spectrum TV app, which supports several platforms including the Xumo Stream Box, iOS and Android devices, Apple TV boxes, Roku players and TVs, Samsung smart TVs, and web browsers.

The new packages emerge as Charter boosts its focus on "creating more flexible, lower-cost video options," Sharon Peters, EVP and chief marketing officer at Charter, said in a statement.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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