Comcast to Start Charging For XFINITY Voice Backup Batteries
$35 Charge Starting February 26
A Comcast insider has provided me with documentation stating Comcast is going to start charging XFINITY Voice users for device backup batteries. The documentation suggests that the new policy will go into effect starting February 26. As of that date, if you want a backup battery for your EMTA you need to shell out $35.00 plus $5.95 shipping and handling.
Given the frequency of significant storms these days, a backup battery is a necessity for most users. The batteries in Comcast's XFINITY Voice currently provide users with eight hours of standby time and five hours of talk time in case of a power outage.
According to the documentation, Comcast is going to start tracking the health of the batteries in your modem or gateways, and will begin the gentle process of nagging you to replace it. You can of course buy the battery from a third-party supplier, which will likely be cheaper:
If Comcast identifies a depleted battery in a customers’ home, they will notify the customer via an automated outbound call once every six months....Residential Voice devices and batteries may be purchased by customers from third party vendors. If the customer purchases a device that comes with a battery or they purchase just a battery from a third party supplier, Comcast will not monitor these batteries.
According to the document, business customers will not have to pay for their backup batteries "at this time."