Elite comms are rewarded for group based content aka operations and HM flashpoints for level 55.
Basic comms are for solo players and small groups. Rewarding you group based commendations for a single player experience isn't right either and should not be rewarded as such. Bioware was dumb enough to make this reward not worth while and it probably won't be until the next tier of gear. However, if it rewarded more basic comms and there was a way to exchange basic for say elite at a 3 to 1 rate it would be much more acceptable.
You get elite coms from the staged weekly on makeb and that is soloable. So that's not a policy in the game.
I'm also baffled by this decision. Given the cap, I don't see a problem with an alternate method of getting elite coms.