Comcast Widens Premium Tech Support Rollout

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Comcast on Wednesday launched Xfinity Signature Support -- a range of premium-priced technical help plans for residential customers -- in Michigan, the Philadelphia metro area, New Jersey and Northern Delaware.

Last month, the operator debuted the service in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn., markets and in early April rolled it out in Houston as well. The MSO plans to expand it to its entire footprint throughout 2011.

Comcast ordinarily provides 24-hour support only for its own video,
broadband and phone services and related equipment. With Xfinity
Signature Support, which Comcast spent about year developing, the MSO provides troubleshooting and support for
computers, home networks and other devices with support online, over the
phone or in a customer's home.

The online and phone component of Xfinity Signature Support is provided by Support.com, a Redwood City, Calif.-based provider of technical support services, while Nashville, Tenn.-based Asurion provides in-home tech support visits.

Xfinity Signature Support is available in three tiers: the Computer Maintenance Plan, $4.95 per month, for basic support for up to four computers; Wireless Networking Support for $5.95 per month (plus a $39 setup fee), which adds support for Wi-Fi networking equipment; and Complete Home Support, $19.95 per month (plus $79 setup fee), which includes support for home networking, maintenance for up to four PCs, virus removal, peripherals, and data backup and restoration.

In addition to the monthly plans, Comcast will sell one-time fixes, such as virus removal or connecting printers or game consoles to wireless networks under the Xfinity Signature Support brand for between $49.95 and $129.95 a pop.

The service also offers extended equipment plans covering computers and flat-panel TVs, which are to be administered by Asurion.

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