I'm setting up a web server for a small business, and the only ISPs in our area are Comcast (15MBPS upstream) and Qwest (90KBPS upstream). Qwest seems completely unbearable as a choice for server hosting, but they have no clause in their Acceptable Use Policy or Terms of Service barring businesses from hosting websites. Comcast however; strictly forbids it. The owner of the business wants to go ahead with hosting on Comcast, however; I informed him of the small detail in the AUP. He didn't seem concerned about it, because he thought this policy was only enforced when Comcast received complaints about illicit content, or we exceed the 250GB bandwidth quota. I was less convinced. The problem is, Comcast seems to be the only option to server hosting, unless we outsource to another company, and lose direct access to the server, the operating system, and our privacy. What should I recommend? Should I advise him to take the risk and host on Comcast, or simply avoid setting up a website in the first place. We aren't expecting the site to suddenly get a whole bunch of traffic.
You're looking at residential connections. Remember, you can often get Comcast business internet with a better service level agreement and different terms of service.
Personally, there's nothing wrong with getting an unmanaged dedicated server or VPS somewhere remote via a respectable web hosting company.
We do some hosting on our inhouse comcast circuit, nothing mission critical or anything, and haven't had any complaint from CC. I'd have to re-read the contract but I don't remember reading anything that would prevent us from hosting client facing services, web or otherwise. That being said I'd reevaluate your position on "outsourcing". A VPS will only cost you the loss of worrying about server hardware, you'd maintain everything else you listed as a "loss".
I host some servers on a ComCast 'business' connection, mostly just a public VPN server for employees to remote in for dev. work, and clients to check out what we've got in dev. for them. The service itself is alright, although not fantastic. If I were trying to make money off of it, the story might be different.
One serious problem, though, is that the 'business' class router ComCast provides (an SMC unit) is just garbage. It's extremely locked down to what you can do and access with it. For example, they lock down SNMP, which leaves you unable to monitor your own device! As a business, I have a problem with that. Also, the public facing server is actually a Heartbeat cluster, or is supposed to be --the SMC router doesn't play well with the ARP stuff that goes on to enable failover, and so instead of having a hot standby, I have a cold standby. I have to leave the second machine off. Kinda defeats the purpose of a cluster...There may be other ways around it, but for any sane router, I shouldn't have to figure it out/work around the router.
Also, even ComCast business support is terrible --they walk you through the same 'troubleshooting' steps as they do for a residential connection. Turn it off, turn it back on, blah blah blah. Nevermind that that is totally unfit for a business situation, especially if you're trying to host a server! In my particular case, it turned out to be their DNS servers were down, which I tried to convince them of with some basic networking, to no avail. I actually told them about it before they knew their DNS was down...
So, I don't know, it's a mixed bag. If this is supposed to generate revenue for you, go to a reliable hosting provider. If security is an issue, host your own box. I've seen a lot of places doing 1u colo's for $50/u/month, which is less than the cost of the ComCast business connection.