Comcast is in talks with the federal government to offer internet service at a lower price to lower-income households, the company said on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.
The announcement is a sign that the company has found a way to compete with the Internet and television services that have dominated the cable and broadband market for years.
Comcast said it is still exploring whether to offer its Internet service at $10 per month or $50 a month, the people said.
The company, which has a $45 billion valuation, is also in talks to sell its cable-broadband business.
The move comes as the federal Communications Commission, under President Donald Trump, seeks to make the Internet less expensive and more accessible, with a goal of allowing the government to provide internet access for everyone at lower prices.
The FCC, which is charged with regulating the Internet, has said it wants to keep prices down for everyone but to offer more competition in the marketplace.
“This is not a merger or acquisition of the cable company,” Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Roberts said in a statement.
“We are not trying to buy the cable companies.
We are just trying to do what we can to give our customers the best possible internet service for their money.”
Comcast will not charge customers to access the internet, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the company was not authorized to speak to the media.
Roberts declined to comment further on the pricing details, the individual said.
A merger of the two companies could help Comcast to capture more customers who have not signed up for Internet service.
Comcast’s offer comes as Internet providers, including AT& ;T, are trying to get the FCC to allow them to offer cheaper internet access.
The Federal Communications Commission has not announced a date for its own vote on the proposal.
The agency is also considering how to regulate internet access providers and other companies that provide the service.
“These are all things that we want to have,” FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said in an interview.
“But we’ve got to go back to the basics.
We need to do things like create the internet itself.”
Comcast’s deal comes as other cable companies have tried to lure customers to their services.
AT&s;T, for example, has launched the popular Go90 streaming service and is rolling out its own video streaming service.
The cable and internet companies have also been trying to woo new subscribers with lower prices and access to their own video content.
The offer by Comcast would give Comcast the ability to offer Internet service for its existing subscribers at a cheaper price.
“If you have a cable company that you want to buy, and you’re paying $60 for a package that comes with a high-speed internet package and a $40 broadband package, you’re looking at $100,” said Michael Moritz, a research analyst at BTIG, a ratings firm.
“It’s going to take a little bit of digging around to find a buyer.”
Comcast, which also offers internet services to customers in some areas of the country, said it was willing to offer $50 to $100 a month for customers who already subscribe to its cable and satellite TV service.
It said the offer would be in place “for the next 12 months.”
Comcast said that it would not be able to offer the same package to its existing customers until December 2018.