Frontier Tries Out Prepaid Broadband

Follows Similar Model Being Trialed By Comcast
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Following Comcast into the world of prepaid broadband, Frontier Communications has introduced Pay-As-You-Go Internet, a service that allows customers to buy access in increments of one day, seven days or 30 days.

As first spotted by VintonDaily, Frontier’s contract-free, prepaid offering, which does not require the customer to take a phone service from the company, is anchored by a $39.99 Welcome Kit with the requisite home-side equipment (Netgear 7550 WiFi router, Ethernet cable, phone cord, and installation guide), and provides customers an option to order or recharge services by doing so online, via a customer service number, or by visiting a Frontier retail store.

Frontier offers three prepaid plans: one day for $9.99; 7 days for $24.99, and 30 days for $39.99. Customers are also on the hook for a one-time $19.99 activation fee.  Frontier also provides a pro install option for $99.99. Frontier’s pay-as-you-go service offers speeds of 6 Mbps down and 1 Mbps upstream.

Like Comcast’s prepaid offering, Frontier’s does not require a credit check, a Social Security number or a bank account, opening up a way to obtain customers who don’t want or otherwise don’t qualify for a post-paid broadband service.

By comparison, Comcast’s prepaid Internet offering, which was quietly introduced in the fall of 2012, features a $69.95 Starter Kit that includes 30 days of service, and sells service refills for $15 for 7 days, and $45 for 30 days. Comcast’s prepaid Internet product is limited to 3 Mbps down by 768 kbps in the upstream.  Comcast is also testing a prepaid TV product, but has limited its reach to the Detroit area.

Prepaid Internet offerings are being crafted to ensure they don’t cannibalize postpaid broadband services, and are starting to come into view as operators seek new revenue growth engines for the category and take advantage of a model that has proven popular with mobile service providers.