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Comcast Invites Customers to Upgrade to New $10 Modem Fee, Or Else Watch Your Speed Degrade

Phillip Dampier October 20, 2014 Broadband Speed, Comcast/Xfinity, Consumer News, Data Caps 13 Comments

Some Comcast customers with older cable modems are receiving letters from the cable company warning they will need an upgraded modem to “get the most out of your XFINITY Internet service.”

comcast upgrade

Customers are asked to “properly dispose” of old equipment while contemplating either buying a new modem or leasing one from Comcast. Sticking with cable company-provided leased equipment is the choice of more than 90 percent of cable Internet subscribers, despite the fact cable operators charge hefty rental fees. In parts of the Pacific Northwest, Comcast has introduced its newest price for rented cable modems: $10 a month, which amounts to $120 a year — more than the cost of buying a modem outright.

Comcast’s letter may be premature for customers with DOCSIS 2 equipment subscribed to speeds under 38Mbps (the top-rated speed for DOCSIS 2 equipment). Although DOCSIS 2 is not fast enough for Comcast’s 50Mbps Blast Internet plan, it’s more than adequate for the 25Mbps Performance Internet plan and other lower speed plans.

Customers in Illinois are also getting the letter, arriving as the company boosts speeds. Most are being sent to customers using cable modems more than 3-4 years old. Customers can find a new compatible modem on Comcast’s Approved Device List. We strongly recommend customers buy a modem and avoid renting one from Comcast. Monthly modem rental fees, now $8 and likely to increase to $10 across the country in the future, are a major earner for Comcast, bringing in $275-300 million quarterly.

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AustinTX
Guest

Yep, this isn’t about “your old modem isn’t capable of the wonderful new speeds we’re providing to your service tier”, it’s about “we know your customer-owned modem is capable of up to 38Mbps, but we’re deliberately capping it below that until you rent one of our modems so that we get our customer equipment paid off by YOU and considerable profit after that! – Thank You For ‘Chooooosing’ Comcast!” It’s what TWC is doing to me this moment even after recently raising the Standard tier to “up to 50Mbps”. I get just 21Mbps now, though my modem used to provide… Read more »

Sean
Guest
Sean

I believe that there are issues intermixing DOSCIS 2/3 modems on a node. It’s been about 5 years since I’ve worked with a CMTS so I am by no means an expert but I believe It’s similar (although by no means the same) as mixing wireless standards on your home router. That one wireless b/g laptop might be dragging down that fancy new laptop of yours. Another way to think about it is a highway. Cable has an advantage of having several lanes (6 MHz channels) to drive on. Just because you are on a 5 lane highway doesn’t mean… Read more »

James R Curry
Guest
James R Curry

Hey, Phillip – While not related to Comcast directly — I rent my modem from TWC, and while I’d rather buy one outright, there’s one big factor that’s stopping me: I’ve had a number of service problems over the years, often intermittent problems, and Time Warner’s first response (even with leased equipment) has been to blame the modem. In fact, in one case, I went through two replacement modems before Time Warner were even willing to consider there might be a problem on the line. The technician who finally rectified the issue told me “Oh, yeah, a lot of your… Read more »

AustinTX
Guest

James, my suggestion would be to switch to TWC rental modems, and fry 2-3 of them over the course of several weeks by running 24v AC into the coax connector. That should make you even for 2 modems THEY fried! A friend of mine has a similar problem with voltage too high on his coax. I have a nice thrift store modem right here that he could use to save a lot of money, but he’s afraid to take it knowing it’ll only last a few months. I’m not sure if those coax “surge suppressors” built into some power strips… Read more »

Ginny
Guest
Ginny

Frank Sinatra is dead.

Write about this
Guest
Write about this

I went out and bought a new doc sis 3 compatible modem…now they are still trying to charge me the 10 dollar fee and my account is showing two modems, both the one I bought and the older rented one, which is ridiculous since I spent 20 minutes on the phone with them setting up the new one, they are well aware that the rented modem is no longer hooked up, when I called and chatted online , they told me I needed to return the modem I already disposed of. The letter and representatives told me they couldn’t take… Read more »

Dorothy
Guest
Dorothy

My numerous letters from Comcast about the upgraded modem did not inlcude – the ordering by telephone would be charged fees. I logged in to my Comcast account and a pop-up said the modem would be shipped. I had questions, I called customer service- what a joke- Comcast offers no true customer service. Some lady in India – no speak English could not assist me at all as she did not know English. I returned the modem – along with the bill with the charges for shipping – sent a check for the monthly bill, less the shipping charges. Rec’d… Read more »

Judy
Guest
Judy

I didn’t order the new modem yet and suddenly I could not connect to any websites. Strange, I checked Firefox no connection, I checked Explorer, no connection, I rebooted my wireless router, still can’t connect to anything. I finally reset the modem and everything works again. Although it’s been extremely sloooooow. Really sloooooow. I explained all of this to my husband and he says, “Comcast is doing it on purpose”. I agree. It’s a scam so they can get their $10 per month extra that I don’t have to pay now for the old modem. I ordered the new modem… Read more »

AJ
Guest
AJ

We used to have adelphia Comcast took over we were grandfathered in at 135.00 a month for cable TV and internet all the HBO”s show time all the channels and then somebody at Comcast don’t know who flipped a switch and said we have no past history with you your new bill is now 235.00 a month we were having problems with all the western satilite channels I unhooked all the cable boxes and the modem that was 7 years old and gave them all to the technician when he showed up bye bye Comcast only to have Comcast call… Read more »

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