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Cable modem/CMTS

Comcast Enters E-Tail Jungle

You can buy just about anything through Amazon.com these days, from books to DVDs, pet food to shower curtains, screwdrivers to lawn mowers, and now, Comcast Internet services. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), America's largest MSO, inked a deal with the e-tail giant and launched a new Comcast Store this week at www.amazon.com/comcast.

What can shoppers add to their broadband shopping baskets? Through the end of 2006, Comcast is offering Amazonians the chance to buy basic cable modem service (typically 6 Mbit/s downstream and 384 kbit/s upstream) at a discounted rate of $19.99 per month for six months. After that, the price rises to around $42.95 per month. The MSO is sweetening the deal by offering a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate for new broadband buyers heading into the holiday shopping season.

According to the fine print, the offer is only available to Comcast video customers who have not had Comcast Internet service during the last 120 days. Customers must purchase their own cable modem and self-install kit, the perfect way to spend that gift certificate, of course. Amazon is pushing new Docsis modem models from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Linksys for around $60 each. The Comcast self-install kit is $9.95.

That leaves $30 in Comcast coupons to do some extra shopping at Amazon. In the under-$25 gift category, Amazon suggests buying Johnny Cash's "Live at Folsom Prison" CD, the 2007 Far Side one-a-day-calendar, and Scrabble: Classic Edition. Yes, savvy shoppers can get a new Motorola cable modem, a modem self-install kit, and all these fabulous parting gifts for "free" with their Amazon Comcast Internet service order.

— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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