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Time Warner Cable Raising Modem Rental Fee (Again): $5.99/Month Starting Next Month

Phillip Dampier July 29, 2013 Consumer News, Data Caps, Editorial & Site News 19 Comments

Time Warner Cable is increasing the cost of renting your cable modem. In the third increase in ten months, using the company-provided cable modem will now cost subscribers $5.99 a month. But the costs don’t stop there. Last week, Time Warner announced it was raising the price of its broadband service an average of $3 a month. Taken together, the cost of standalone 15/1Mbps broadband with a leased modem will now cost $61 a month.

modem fee

SB6141 is a DOCSIS 3 modem

SB6141 is a DOCSIS 3 modem

Time Warner introduced its $3.95 monthly modem rental fee last fall. In June, the company announced it was raising the price of the modem rental to $4.99 a month for new customers,  and has now decided customers can afford to pay more — $6 a month for equipment that costs the cable company, on average, less than $50 per unit according to Wall Street analysts.

CEO Glenn Britt remarked earlier this year that customers accepted the modem rental fee with few complaints. Britt foreshadowed the modem rental fee increase saying the company had significant room to boost prices, noting Comcast charges $7 a month for its modem.

Customers can escape modem rental fees altogether by purchasing their own equipment. At Time Warner’s new prices, most customers will recoup the cost of the equipment within one year. Unfortunately, as news of the modem rental fee increase made its way to retailers and eBay resellers, prices have soared for equipment on Time Warner Cable’s approved modem list.

The popular Motorola SB6141, which sold for $78 two weeks ago, has now shot up to $99.99 in anticipation of a new wave of buyers. Prices on Newegg have also increased from $78 to $99.99 as of this morning. Best Buy has also boosted prices to $99.99. Amazon still lists this white version of the SB6141 this afternoon for $87, but is expected to quickly sell out.

Based on the last two waves of price increases, if thinking about buying your own modem the time to buy is right now because major retailers are likely to temporarily sell out and eBay resellers will begin a wave of price increases in response to demand.

Stop the Cap! top rates the Motorola SB6141 among the modems on the approved list. It is DOCSIS 3 capable, which means it will support faster Internet speeds. But also be aware that if you upgrade to a DOCSIS 3 modem, Time Warner’s Speedboost technology, which delivers a few seconds of additional speed at the start of a download, will no longer work. Speedboost is gradually being phased out by most cable operators so we still think buying a DOCSIS 3 modem makes the most sense over the long term.

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BobInPeoria
BobInPeoria
7 years ago

So, TWC admits that their Modem Rental Fee increase really has nothing to do with the cost of modems.

It’s just a racket to shift increased costs to a different line item on the customer’s bill, rather than increase the monthly broadband fee on the bill.

Milan in Austin
Milan in Austin
7 years ago

I’ve ordered a Motorola SB6141 from New Egg for 89.00 last night. I’ve also ordered an OOMA VOIP device for $120 and plan to drop my TWC digital phone service as well. I hope to return my TWC Modem by the end of next week. I’m seriously considering dropping my TWC digital cable too. TWC is exploiting their user base by raising equipment and service rates on a frequent basis. I’ve had enough! I can download all of my favorite TV shows without much effort. I’ll just have to live without being able to watch my favorite shows “live”. However,… Read more »

Milan in Austin
Milan in Austin
7 years ago

Philip, Thank you for the tip on signing up for the Ooma Premium trial to port my number for free. On average, I use my landline for less than 2 hours per week, so I should be just fine with Ooma’s service. In regards to Google Fiber, I hope that Google will service apartment complexes in Austin. If they don’t, I’ll be SOL until I get around to buying a home, which as a government employee in Austin is becoming increasingly out of reach. Most UT students in Austin live in apartment complexes, so I am hoping that Google will… Read more »

Scott
Scott
7 years ago

Not only college students live in apartment complexes here in Austin. I’m 45-years-old and half the people I know live in apartment or condo complexes, as do I. If Google Fiber doesn’t service these places, their fiber network will be completely useless to many of those who need it the most.

Milan in Austin
Milan in Austin
7 years ago

Thank you for the clarification, Phillip! I may give the premium service a try. For $60 more than the standard porting fee, it seems worth it.

BenJF3
BenJF3
7 years ago

I’m doing the same thing. I picked up my own SB6141 a while ago because I kept losing the connection with what TWC was providing. Now, I’m going to drop cable and port my phone number to Ooma Premium. Time Warner had me looking for an out because of their awful DVR software and lousy Whole Home. They are now losing a Sig Home customer because I’m finding no value in the product for the price I pay. It should be noted that Sig Home subs are exempted from the modem fee and that’s not why I’m dropping services. I… Read more »

Richard
Richard
7 years ago

I’ve got my own modem as well. I’ve got the Model: CMD31T. Should I switch to the SB 6121? Or is the Netgear good enough?

IrisJo
IrisJo
7 years ago

I’m SICK of Time Warner Cable!!!!

It’s such a shame we don’t have any healthy competition in this arena! These cable/internet companies are all in bed together … plotting at every turn to screw the consumers!

Enough is ENOUGH!

I would also like to get model information for a good internet/Wifi modem to replace this modem I plan to no longer lease. Hope some fellow TWC users can post that information.

Milan in Austin
Milan in Austin
7 years ago

IrisJo, you need to pick up the Motorola SB6141 modem from NewEgg for $89.00 shipped.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16825390001

Racerbob
Racerbob
7 years ago

The 6141 is still $59.95 plus about $10 shipping here…

https://www.advancedstream.com/49modem

IrisJo
IrisJo
7 years ago

Hi, Milan in Austin! I live in Dallas!!!! Milan, I would like to thank you and Racerbob for sharing links to where we can purchase a compatible modem. Good luck to everyone on your quest to find an internet / cable / phone provider who puts the needs of the customer first! Do you think we can sue them like this lady sued Equifax? She won over $16 million in damages because they put erroneous information in her credit report. Even though I think that settlement was a bit excessive, I bet she got their attention and they will be… Read more »

fhall1
fhall1
7 years ago

I held out from getting my own modem when the fee was $3.99 since I also have TWC phone service and didn’t want two power sucking devices (my own modem plus the TWC modem just to use the built-in phone adapter), but now at $5.99 (and probably $6.99 soon) I ordered a SB6141 from Newegg and a splitter and two RG-6 cables from Monoprice and will be getting that fee off my bill next month.

motorola870
motorola870
7 years ago

Looks like TWC did a hidden speed increase at least on the extreme and ultimate tiers 🙂 Extreme is now at 35/5.9 provisioning at least on my modem and I am not getting 34Mbps down/5.5Mbps up compared to 31Mbps down / 4.9-5Mbps up. Also the provisioning was before 32 something down and 5.2 up and now it is 35,4 down and 5.9 up 🙂 Seems TWC snuck in a small speed increase for the $2 🙂 So it looks like this not confirmed (yet) 35 down/5.9 up Extreme 60 down /5.9 up Ultimate although the 5.5 up was done during… Read more »

Milan in Austin
Milan in Austin
7 years ago

Thanks to the advice from Phillip and my fellow STC readers, I have set up my SB6141 modem and Ooma VOIP device. I am planning to cancel my TWC Phone and TV service early Saturday morning and return all of their equipment. I expect Crime Warner Cable to offer me several insanely good deals (I’ve been a customer in good standing, since January of 2006), when I call to disconnect. Are there any code words I could use to get TWCs CSRs to cut the crap and cancel my non-broadband services? I’m fearful that I won’t be able to resist… Read more »

David
David
7 years ago

It is a price increase. TWC and every other cable provider gets these modem in bulk orders from Motorola and others.

I use my own modem with TWC that is not on the approved list.. a Motorola SB6180.. which is literally the same as the SBG6580 minus the wireless; and minor updates to the firmware. It generally works without any problems. I only paid about $40 or so on Amazon.com for it, which is noticeably cheaper then the SB6141.

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