Comcast Could Disrupt Wireless Carriers With Ad-Supported Service

Comcast could disrupt the wireless sector by introducing a mobile service that would reward users that consume advertising with free or discounted Internet access and video programming, a patent application obtained by The Donohue Report indicates.

“Other access right changes that may be granted in a reward may include changing the network bandwidth usage (or tonnage), the transmission speed (e.g., 50 Mb/s), latency (e.g., guaranteeing a 50 ms response time), granting access to restricted content (e.g., allowing the user to view a pay-per-view movie or video on demand), or any other adjustable network quality,” Comcast states in the patent application published on Thursday.

Stephens
Stephens

Comcast VP of Product Development Billy Stephens is named as lead inventor on the patent application, titled, “Wireless Network Access.”

Abstract: A network access point may control access by limiting time of access to users, and by granting additional access time in exchange for certain user behavior, such as viewing advertisements. Other rewards may be granted as well, such as changes to the user’s network access quality, or access to restricted content.

Patent Application

 Claims:
1. A method, comprising: receiving a wireless network access request from a device; and granting a wireless network access quality to the device in exchange for the device presenting one or more advertisements.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the wireless network quality relates to a bandwidth of the wireless network access.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the wireless network quality relates to a data transmission speed of wireless network access.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the wireless network quality relates to a latency of wireless network access.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the wireless network quality relates to a maximum data allotment.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the wireless network quality relates to a priority of access over other devices on a wireless network.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising: connecting the device to a wireless network; and offering a user of the device to improve a wireless network access bandwidth, data transmission speed, or latency in exchange for the user’s agreement to consume one or more advertisements.

8. The method of claim 1, further comprising: granting different levels of wireless network access quality to different devices based on past advertisement presentation by the respective devices.

9. The method of claim 1, further comprising: offering a plurality of advertisements to the device; and associating each of the plurality of advertisements with a different quality of wireless network access or a different level of a quality of wireless network access.

10. A method, comprising: presenting a countdown indication of time remaining before an advertisement will be presented to a user; and presenting the user with a plurality of options to change the time remaining to different time values.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the plurality of options comprises an option to consume one or more advertisements to cause a corresponding change in the time remaining.

12. The method of claim 10, wherein the plurality of options includes an option to immediately begin consuming the advertisement.

13. The method of claim 10, wherein presenting the user with a plurality of options to change the time remaining to different time values comprises presenting a plurality of advertisements.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein presenting the plurality of advertisements further comprises presenting a corresponding plurality of different changes in the time remaining.

15. The method of claim of claim 10, wherein the plurality of options to change the time remaining to different time values includes an option to pay a price to skip the advertisement.

16. A method, comprising: presenting an advertisement notification to a user during network usage, the advertisement notification indicating an amount of time remaining before an advertisement will be presented; generating an advertisement preview showing one or more advertisement options and a respective reward associated with the one or more advertisement options; presenting the advertisement preview to the user and allowing the user to choose an advertisement option; and presenting a selected advertisement upon selection by the user.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein, during presentation of the advertisement, the method further comprises presenting an indication of a partial reward earned by the user based on progress of the advertisement.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the reward associated with one or more advertising options comprises a time period of WiFi usage.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein the reward associated with one or more advertising options comprises a data transmission rate greater than a data transmission rate to a user’s device before selection of an advertisement option.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the reward associated with one or more advertising options comprises a maximum data allotment greater than a maximum data allotment to a user’s device before selection of an advertisement option.

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