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Middletown, CT

Business Versus Residential Service?

I just recently switched over to Business class service at my home-based office. Now that it's done (3 months after I began the process) I'm REALLY baffled as to why I did what I did...

Right now they're both connected; I've not yet called Residential to cancel. I am/was signed up at 3M/768k Residential, and I signed up for Business Starter. I verified connection speeds last night; my residential modem passes 3M/768k with no "burst" and costs me $29.95/mo (using my own 6120 modem). The new business line, running through their SMc modem, is rated at 12/1 but actually passes about 18/1, maybe due to their "burst" allowance (ShaperProbe shows it's capped at ~18). Cost of Business is $59.95, plus $7/mo for the modem.

I called Comcast Residential last night and asked about upgrading the home line to 12/2. No problem, he said; price is $32.95. "What?" I asked, "Is that an intro rate?" "No sir, that's the retail price." "Does this pull me into a new contract?" "No sir, not at all".

So...why did I get talked into Business class...?

Only thing I can figure is that the residential speeds have been rising gradually, in response to market pressure. I'm seeing reference on this board where residential service has been steadily improved, sometimes on a quarterly basis, to compete in the market space. In addition, Comcast has dropped their 250GB/mo cap on residential, which was one reason I was considering Biz. Conversely, Business upgrades have been fairly stagnant, and their value advantage of higher speeds and no caps has eroded (I'm not sure if I can trust that current-18 speed to last forever). I'm guessing that when I went into this agreement in April, the 12/2 residential was a lot more than $32.95, and the 250GB cap loomed heavy. Today, not so.

One other consideration is that Residential service in my area has a top tier of 12/2, where 12/1 (why "1"?) is the bottom rung of Business. ShaperProbe shows my line with the capability of as much as 24/4.5.

I feel like I'm missing something...? I'm within the 30-day cancellation period; I may give Business a call today, see what they have to say. But I'm finding it hard to justify staying with Business class service...

On a side note, I found the installation team to be top notch, once again; same as when I originally signed with Comcast Residential the responsiveness and quality of work was excellent.

Thoughts appreciated.



Well, if it makes you feel any better, the cap will return for residential at some point.


Houston, TX
reply to gregamy
There are several reasons people choose business class service over residential class service. First, if there is a problem with the service, Comcast responds faster if you have business class service. Second, business class service is not capped. Comcast is in the process of changing how residential class service is capped. Currently, residential class service is not capped but this will change after Commcast decides how it is going to handle caps. Third, business class service is more expensive than residential class service.

It doesn't sound like quick response if there is a problem and data caps are important enough to you to justify paying extra for business class service, but that is a judgment that you should make.
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Quakertown, PA
reply to gregamy
Do note that the 32.95 rate for residential is a promotion. the csr either didnt understand your question or was misinformed.

Bah Humbug
The Boro
·Cingular Wireless
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said by rody_44:

Do note that the 32.95 rate for residential is a promotion. the csr either didnt understand your question or was misinformed.

Yep, in my area the price for residential 12/2 service is $48.95 per month (and that is if you already have Comcast TV or CDV service).
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Cumming, GA
reply to gregamy
Like others have said, Residential will get caps. The only difference planned is if one goes over their cap, they'll get charge $10/50GB. Business doesn't have caps and there are no plans for caps as of this writing.

If you don't mind eventually paying the overages, stick with Residential. In my near one year of service, I haven't seen the other benefits to having Business class.

Supposedly one gets better service and faster turnarounds with Business. In my one and only issue with the service, it didn't seem like I got better service or response; keep in mind that I called on July 2nd with the tech coming out on July 3rd and restoring service, but not getting around to fixing the big problem in my area. That could be considered an unusual case I guess due to the holiday. The rep on the phone didn't bother to troubleshoot past power cycling the modem. The onsite tech noticed a bunch of problems in my area that the phone rep could have looked into. It seems all the onsite rep did was do a factory reset on the SMC to get things working, but the way he was describing the problem for my area, it sounded like I shouldn't be getting services at all.

I have also heard on these boards by a couple of users that one gets priority traffic over the Residential users in the area. Speedtest.net corroborates that claim, but I'm starting to think they're full of crap or Comcast is prioritizing that test traffic just to make me feel good. Lately, my results have been 15/35 (yes faster upload), but real life results from actual use contradicts those results and my upload is more in line with my actual tier.

Boynton Beach, FL
said by noc007:

The only difference planned is if one goes over their cap, they'll get charge $10/50GB.

Unless I missed an announcement, that's not a given but rather one of the trials they are conducting. All things being equal I personally would also guess that is what they would implement, but as there is really a lot at play on this one I wouldn't call it a safe bet yet.

said by noc007:

I have also heard on these boards by a couple of users that one gets priority traffic over the Residential users in the area.

I'm not sure that's a correct assumption, but I'm definitely positive SpeedTest.net would be unable to prove it one way or another. What it might show is different service tiers, or even the same service tier in different markets, may have PowerBoost configured differently.


Middletown, CT
reply to gregamy
Thanks, all, for the responses. I'm still dithering on trying to justify the add'l expense of Business Class. My concerns:

- Pricing: residential is cheaper, even at the above $48.95.

- Speeds: comparable, though I note right now the biz line is faster. However, I'm not confident that'll last (it's above subscribed rate).

- Future service: there's historic pricing and value pressures with residential, not so in business class. I suspect we'll see much increasing value in residential, stagnant in biz.

- Caps: not too worried about this. My past history with the last two years has been rarely about half the "old" cap (though I admit more online content should increase that over time). Further, I personally suspect there will be future anti-competition legislation in regard to caps from service-versus-content providers (just a gut feel, no evidence to support that).

- Service: not worried about that. If the problem is with the infrastructure (the most likely scenario), no amount of "4 hour response" is going to fix it any faster than what would happen were my class of service biz. If the problem is in my personally-owned modem (which I already have) then a trip to a local BestBuy and a call to Comcast will resolve it. If the problem is inside the modem, then I can fix it (I'm a networking professional). And as such, I subscribe to cellular data service I can use as a business backup in times of significant outage.

I dunno, maybe I just convinced myself to drop the biz class. It's really hard to find a compelling reason for it. - GA

Got Mouse?
Bristol, CT
reply to gregamy
Just an overall observation: If getting no caps is not a big concern, which it sounds like that it is not, then I see no compelling rationale to having business class. Nothing "wrong" with it, but the meager at best pros hardly outweigh the price differential.

Maybe if I was in an area with sketchy service that required lots of calls I might look at it differently, but here in what has been a pretty stable area, I have pretty limited need of CS anyway.

Maybe that should be your deciding factor?
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Space Elf
Mullica Hill, NJ
reply to gregamy
You have a home office, keep the business class. with Business class you can get a tech that day. With residential you get next available. What does this mean for your home office? if you go back to just the resi, and it goes down the CSR does not have to care you are now losing money. With the business class they will send a ticket to the right place if they cannot order the tech out themselves.
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