Comcast has launched free broadband to its customers in the United States.
The new service, which will be rolled out over the next few weeks, will be available to customers in states such as Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Alabama.
The company said it will offer speeds of up to 50 megabits per second, and is offering speeds of 25 megabit per second for customers in metro areas where Comcast has its headquarters.
The service is also available in areas where Cox is not available.
Comcast, a cable company, said that customers who have signed up for a $99 monthly plan can also receive the service for free.
The launch of the free service comes a week after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Comcast’s $45.5 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.
The deal is expected to create a major new player in the American broadband market, and will bring Comcast into the lucrative business of providing cable services.
Comcast is currently the largest cable provider in the country, with customers in some regions including New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.
The $45 billion acquisition has been criticised by some internet users and civil liberties groups as an attempt to extract more money from consumers, including through an increase in the amount of cable service customers are required to pay for.
Comcast’s decision to offer a service free of charge is a major victory for net neutrality supporters, who have long fought for broadband service to be treated equally.
“This is a big win for all Americans,” said Evan Greer, a senior policy analyst at Free Press, a consumer advocacy group.
“Comcast has always been a champion of net neutrality, and this is just the latest sign that the company is moving forward on that front.
The internet is the future and the next great innovation, and it should be treated the same way.”
Comcast’s launch comes amid a backlash against Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner.
In November, a group of Democratic senators filed a lawsuit calling for the FCC to delay the merger until there was more information about the proposed merger and whether it would harm net neutrality.
The lawsuit also accused Comcast of violating the Telecommunications Act by failing to disclose to regulators its intention to merge with Time, as well as by blocking an open internet rules change that would allow broadband providers to offer lower-cost broadband.
Comcast argued that it was complying with the law.
“We are working hard to deliver a great experience to our customers,” a Comcast spokesperson told the BBC.
“With our commitment to free internet, we want to ensure that customers have access to the most competitive services at the lowest possible price, and the new service will give them that option.”
Comcast has previously announced plans to offer high-speed broadband in areas in the state of Mississippi, where it has its facilities.