It appears that Comcast is killing off its Skype service for set top boxes just a year after unveiling it. In May of last year Comcast launched the product offering
, which for an extra $10 a month allowed users to video chat -- if
users subscribe to the Comcast triple play of Digital Starter TV (or above) with HD service, Performance Internet (or above) and Unlimited Voice service. Interested users received a self-install kit for the service.
I've confirmed with several Comcast employees that the company this week circulated an internal e-mail newsletter stating the service will no longer be offered as of June 1 due to slow adoption. "As of 6/1, due to low product adoption, we will no longer sell Skype on XFINITY," notes the e-mail. "We will continue to support the existing customers, but not add any new customers after this date."
The $10 fee for video conferencing was seen as too high by many customers. Others complained about the service suffering from connectivity and image quality issues. The service also faces stiff competition from the likes of Google, Apple and Skype itself, all of which already deliver video chat functionality in more convenient and portable tablet and smartphone formats.
There's no word on how long the company will continue to support the service for existing customers.