By Ian Bush

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Comcast is now testing for Internet what wireless companies have found much success with cell service — a prepaid option.

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Instead of being under contract and submitting to a credit check, Xfinity Internet Prepaid Service gives you a week of surfing for $15, or a month for $45.

“Some targets might be consumers who might have no bank account, maybe have bad credit, are a credit risk, or they’re customers who used to get services from Comcast and maybe they got turned off for non-payment,” says Jeff Baumgartner, editor of the telecom industry news site

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He says the connection speed dips a bit from the subscription model (3Mbit/sec downstream vs. 6Mbit/sec in Comcast’s Performance Starter service).   Still, he says, ”It might be OK for some video streaming, and it’s going to be great for e-mail and just general web surfing.”

Prepaid customers also buy the modem for $25, but there’s no monthly leasing fee after that.

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Such an option might even make sense for a summer shore rental, but this Comcast test is limited in its early days.  It’s being marketed in parts of the Delaware Valley in retail stores, in Craigslist ads, and at