Times may be tough for the Occupy Wall Street crowd, but it's never been a better time to be in the 1%. For proof, you need look no further than Comcast's (CMCSA) new "Xfinity Platinum Internet" product.
Boasting download speeds as high as 305 Mbps, "Platinum" tops Verizon's (VZ) fastest FiOS option by a good 5 Mbps. It's fast enough to download a full-length Hollywood movie in just a few minutes, or to move a song from ether to computer in mere seconds.
The catch? It costs $300 a month.
Granted, at this price Comcast doesn't expect to see customers lining up around the block to buy the service. Platinum is purely a prestige project, aiming to show that Comcast can beat Internet speed-demon Verizon when it wants to ... and when price is no object.
$300? What a Bargain!
Now, $300 might not be a problem for those in the 1%. Indeed, in announcing Platinum, Comcast billed it as being for only "the most-advanced digital homes" in the Northeast. And, in the tradition of offering extra hand-holding for the wealthy -- but not necessarily tech-savvy -- Platinum also comes with:
- Free 24/7 tech support ("free" except for the 300 bucks, that is).
- "Constant Guard™ Security Suite."
- "A dedicated Personal Communications Consultant" -- presumably named Jeeves.
And that's not all. Crunch the numbers a bit, and you'll notice that 305 Mbps at $300 a month works out to about a buck a Megabit. That's not a bad rate if you buy your Internet access by the virtual pallet load. (Maybe Costco (COST) should try to get in on this action.)
Joe and Jane Ninety-Nine Percent, on the other hand, probably can't afford $300 a month, and have to pay retail for their Internet access -- and that'll cost them as much as $2 per Mbps -- and up.
- $200 for a 105 Mbps plan.
- $59-for-30 -- and even then, only if you sign up for TV or phone service.
- $50 for 6 Mbps.
- And a whopping $30 a month for just 3 Mbps, if you're on a non-XFINITY Comcast TV or voice plan.
Once again, the biggest discounts go to those who need them least.
Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith holds no position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco Wholesale. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Costco Wholesale.