Comcast proposes cheaper broadband, in exchange for your privacy
Privacy buffs might like this even less than Windows 10.
Comcast has asked the Federal Communications Commission that it be allowed to offer discounted broadband in exchange for using more user data and it’s not even the first ISP to do it.
A year ago, AT&T began offering AT&T GigaPower broadband in Kansas City, Mo., with prices beginning at $70 per month. But there was a catch: If a customer wanted AT&T to ignore their online activities, it would cost almost $30 more per month1.
Now Comcast wants a piece of that action.
DSL Reports states2 that Comcast executives held a discussion with FCC officials, which was summarized in a subsequent FCC filing by the ISP. Comcast urged the FCC to allow business models offering discounts or other value to consumers in exchange for allowing ISPs to use their data.
According to Comcast, a bargained-for exchange of information for service is a perfectly acceptable and widely used model throughout the U.S. economy, including the Internet ecosystem.
The letter points out that FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen noted that prohibiting ad-supported broadband services could hinder greater broadband adoption by denying users more affordable options.
In March, the FCC passed a notice of proposed rule-making that would require broadband suppliers to get opt-in permission3 from customers before using their personal information for reasons other than marketing their own products. In its meeting, Comcast argued that agreeing to the lower price serves as that consent.
Comcast hasn t said what the proposed discounts would be, or where they would be offered.