About this series
In Part 1 of this blog series, I discussed the process that was used to get the current Chapel Trail Bulk Agreement with Comcast / Xfinity into place. The purpose of that article, as well as the series in general, is not to argue the politics of bulk agreements for HOAs in general. Instead, I’m merely trying to point out the process that was used to select it, the value it provides to each home in Chapel Trail, and how best to take advantage of all of the features, known and unknown.
This article will highlight the features included with the Chapel Trail Comcast Bulk Agreement in the original contract, what they are equivalent to now, and what it would cost if there was no agreement and you purchased the services from Comcast directly.
The original package
Services to Homeowners
- TV Service
- Digital HD Starter Service ( 140+ channels)
- Xfinity X1 platform including High Definition (HD) cable programming
- HBO Premium channel package
- Internet Service
- Blast! Internet service (75Mbps down / 20Mbps up)
- Unlimited use of Xfinity WiFi access points around the country
- No caps on data
- Customer Service
- In-home professional installation by a Comcast technician
- Dedicated Bulk Services Specialty Call Centers in Florida
Equipment to Homeowners
- High Speed Dual Band Wireless Router/Modem
- HD DVR (Watch and record up to 6 programs simultaneously)
- HD Companion Box (access to recorded programming on DVR)
- HD DTA Box (only cable programming; no access to DVR)
- Community-wide updating of all wiring
- Quarterly monitoring and upgrades to capacity where needed
- Dedicated account representative for Chapel Trail
- “Door fee” of $250 per household
- 20 courtesy outlets for video service
- 10 courtesy outlets for Internet service
Changes since contract inception
I want to point out the fact that the contract Chapel Trail signed with Comcast had a couple of provisions that have turned out to be quite advantageous. First, the Internet speed provided by Comcast was tied to the Blast! tier of service. At the time of the contract signing, this was 75Mbps. Comcast / Xfinity has repeatedly bumped their speeds up since then and the Blast! tier is currently at 200Mbps. This is an increase of 266% in less than 5 years. Not too shabby.
Second, the contract included a provision that there would be no data caps for Chapel Trail homeowners. Beginning in 2021, Comcast now has a data cap of 1.2TB per month. In the age of 4K streaming, online classes, and Zoom meetings, this is not as high as you may think. While this may not apply to everyone, this still provides many Chapel Trail homes with additional value.
Third, with the advent of streaming services, many companies have developed streaming services that eclipse their TV offerings. Chapel Trail homeowners, as a result of the bulk contract, now have access to two of these major streaming networks. The first is HBOMAX, which has been included as part of the HBO package. With the pandemic still in play, Warner Bros has announced that all of their feature films in 2021 will also be released on HBOMAX. The second is PeacockTV Premium, which is offered as part of the Comcast DVR service. Both of these streaming networks add tremendous value to the package Chapel Trail homeowners receive.
Pricing Comparison with Retail Rates (2021)*
|Line Item||2021 Retail Rates||2021 Approx CT Unit Cost||Savings per month|
|Digital Starter Video Service (125 – 140+ Channels)||$69.95||$45.44||$24.51|
|Broadcast TV Fee||$18.10||$3.25||$14.85|
|Internet Service (Blast! 200Mbps)||$86.00||$28.40||$57.60|
|HD Technology Fee||$9.95||$0.00||$9.95|
|HBO Premium package (including HBO Max)||$14.99||$0.00||$14.99|
|X1 DVR Service (with 150 hours of recording)||$10.00||$0.00||$10.00|
|X1 Receiver (can watch DVR recordings)||$7.50||$0.00||$7.50|
|HD DTA (1st or 2nd Add’l TV)||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|High Speed xFi Gateway (with wireless)||$14.00||$0.00||$14.00|
|Discounts (applied to retail rates in fairness)||$0.00|
|2 Product Discount||-$20.00||$0.00||-$20.00|
|TOTAL COST PER MONTH (before tax)||$205.49||$77.09||$128.40|
*Rates calculated from CT/Comcast Contract and Comcast 2021 Rate Card (both available at bottom of page)
Price Comparison Analysis
As you can see from the above table, the saving provided from the contract to each homeowner are quite significant. For clarification purposes, this comparison is meant to highlight the difference in cost to each household on a monthly basis if the services provided by Comcast were identical. It is completely reasonable to assume that a homeowner might not want or need everything that is provided.
However, even from a cord-cutter’s perspective, at the bare minimum, you’d need Internet service, and that would still be more per month than what is paid for Comcast through the HOA Bulk Contract. Not to mention that a true cord-cutting household could likely exceed the 1.2TB data-cap quite often. Unlimited data, as the current deal provides, would cost an additional $30 per month.
At the bottom of this article, I will provide links to both the Chapel Trail Comcast agreement and the Comcast 2021 Rate Card for South Florida. Rates for CT Units in the above table were calculated based on the initial contract amount with 3% increases per year.