Comcast Raising Cable Modem Rental Fees

Comcast confirmed that it is in the process of raising its monthly cable modem rental fee from $8 to $10 on a market-by-market basis.

Comcast didn’t say when the increase will reach all markets, but users on Reddit from markets such as Salt Lake City and Connecticut are reporting that they have been notified about the higher rental fee.  

Regarding justification, Comcast said it adjusts pricing on leased pricing amid speed upgrades and the introduction of more capable DOCSIS-powered devices that integrate home networking components. Of recent note, Comcast introduced a new DOCSIS 3.0-certified Xfinity Wireless Gateway from Cisco that supports 802.11ac WiFi and the 2.0 version of MoCA.

“We continue to make investments in our network and technology to give customers more for their money,” a Comcast spokesman said via email. “Last year, we made our 12th speed increase in 13 years, offered the fastest outdoor WiFi hotspots as well as the fastest indoor WiFi connection speeds on our latest and greatest advanced wireless gateways, plus we are at nearly 8 million total Xfinity WiFi hotspots. As a result, we periodically need to adjust prices due to increases we incur in rolling out these new technologies.”

Comcast raised the rental fee from $7 to $8 per month in the second half of 2013.

Customers can sidestep rental fees by purchasing their own routers and modems. Comcast has posted a list of more than 50 cable modem models available at retail that are certified to operate on the MSO’s broadband network.

Comcast ended the third quarter of 2014 with 21.58 million high-speed Internet subscribers, but does not break down how many of them lease or buy their modems and gateways. 

But Comcast points out that there are some key benefits to leasing them, noting that it will replace faulty equipment, can provide customers with a higher level of troubleshooting and advice on how to set up a secure network and a firewall and connect to wireless printers, and the ability to swap out a leased device when it becomes obsolete.