Last night, my wife and I sat down to stream the fifth episode of Mrs. Davis, a wonderfully weird show on Peacock. But instead of watching Sister Simone's search for the Holy Grail, we were instead shown a screen saying that we now had to subscribe to Peacock if we wanted to see any more episodes.
Turns out, we, like many others, were the unfortunate subjects of a service change for Comcast Xfinity internet customers. Starting on June 26, the cable giant would no longer offer a free Peacock subscription to all of its Internet-only subscribers. Now, we'd have to pay for Peacock — or pay more for Internet.
Now, if I want to get Peacock, I have three options:
- Subscribe to Now TV, which costs $20/month, which includes around 40 live and on-demand channels and 20 hours of cloud DVR;
- Upgrade my Internet to Gigabit speeds, which would add roughly another $10/month to my Internet bill;
- Sign up for Peacock. If I sign up with Xfinity before August 25, I can get it for $2.99/month for the next year, at which point it will go up to $4.99 per month.
None of these options are particularly appealing, especially given that I now have to pay for something I was previously getting for free. Xfinity isn't alone in this, of course; Twitter started charging for the blue checkmark, Max now charges for 4K streaming and Google discontinued unlimited photo storage for its Pixel phones in 2021.
Outlook: Now I'm looking at other internet providers
Fortunately, in my area, I'm fortunate enough that I have my choice of cable providers. The other game in town is Verizon Fios, which offers a more competitive rate.
On Xfinity, Gigabit Internet service costs $112 per month before discounts; Fios charges $89.99. That alone saves me $22 per month.
What's more, Xfinity also charges $15 per month to rent its cable modem. Yes, it does come with some nice amenities, such as parental controls and security, but Fios includes the cost of the equipment rental in its contract. (Or maybe I should just spring for one of the best cable modems).
In all, I'd be saving about $37 per month, which amounts to $444 per year — not an insignificant amount. For that, I could subscribe to Peacock Premium Plus ($10/month) and still come out with $27 a month leftover vs what I'm paying for Xfinity.
My own inertia has kept me from switching from Xfinity before now, but now that we're no longer getting Peacock for free may finally convince me to switch. After all, we're dying to know what happens to Mrs. Davis.
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Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.