Sen. Sanders Unhappy With Comcast Modem-Lease Fee Increase

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is not happy with Comcast's 66% price increase on its cable-modem lease fee from $3 to $5 per month.
That is according to the Vermont Rutland Herald, which reported that Sanders had released a statement criticizing the move and pledging to push to re-regulate the industry.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that cable prices had risen 77 percent since 1996, roughly double the rate of inflation," Sanders said, according to the paper. "While Comcast makes out like bandits, consumers are being forced to pay more for channels they don't want. I will continue to push for the re-regulation of the cable industry so we can get these rate increases under control."

At the time of the price increase, Comcast said it was the cost of doing high-speed business. ""We continually invest in providing customers with next-generation equipment and technology that delivers advanced voice and Internet services with enhanced capabilities," the company said. "Our costs for this new equipment will increase by 167% over the next two years. As a result, we will increase modem equipment charges by $2."

Cable customers also have the option of buying their own box rather than renting one from the company.

Sanders' spokesman was not available for comment at press time.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.