How Does the Comcast Phone Work?
By Leah Waldron-Gross
Comcast does not make a phone, but Comcast's Xfinity Voice plan offers both local and long-distance landline telephone calls and can be combined into a Comcast "Triple Play" package with Internet and cable services. With an add-on Comcast "International Carefree Minutes" plan, you also have access to countries and continents outside the standard plan, such as Asia, Australia and Europe.
With a subscription to Comcast Xfinity's Voice plan, you can make unlimited local phone calls to the United States (including Puerto Rico) and unlimited long-distance calls to Canada. For an additional monthly fee, you can sign up for Comcast's "International Carefree Minutes" plan, giving you 100 to 300 anytime minutes for international calls to countries outside Canada and the United States. The fee varies by country and starts at $4.95 per month. Otherwise, international calls to scores of Comcast-eligible countries are included in your Xfinity Voice plan at a per-country, per-minute rate.
There are 12 features included at no extra charge in Comcast's Xfinity Voice plan, including call waiting, caller identification on your phone or computer, including with call waiting, call screening, call return (star 69), call forwarding (and call forwarding with select numbers), speed dialing, three-way calling, anonymous call rejection, call identification blocking and "Smart Voicemail," which can be called from your landline, smartphone or computer. You can also sign up to get an email when you have a voice message waiting, or listen to your messages in any order you choose.
Comcast's Xfinity Voice starts at $19.95 per month (for six months) for the unlimited plan. For $24.95 per month (for six months), you can upgrade to a "Local With More" plan, which gives you unlimited local calls and in-state or out-of-state United States long-distance for 5 cents per minute. If you combine your Xfinity Voice plan with cable and phone with a Triple Play Package, rates start at $100 per month (for six months).
If you upgrade your Comcast Xfinity Voice plan to an "International Carefree Minutes" plan for international calls, keep in mind that outgoing calls can only be made to landline phones.
Leah Waldron is the head of Traveler Services at First Abroad, a gap year travel company based in Boston and London. As a travel, research and LGBT news writer, Waldron has publication credit on magazines and newspapers including "Curve Magazine," "USA Today," "The Sun Sentinel" and the "The Houston Chronicle." Waldron has a bachelor's and master's degree in creative writing from Florida State University.