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Comcast Announces 2015 Rate Hikes – Broadcast TV Surcharge More Than Doubles; New Regional Sports Fee

Phillip Dampier January 6, 2015 Comcast/Xfinity, Competition, Consumer News 24 Comments

comcast highwayComcast Internet-only customers looking for speeds up to 100Mbps will pay Comcast an unprecedented $88.95 a month for a package containing the company’s Blast! broadband service with a rented cable modem.

The company has begun informing subscribers of the first of its 2015 rate increases that took effect in some areas on Jan. 1.

“We have worked very hard to hold down price adjustments, and there are no price changes for our Limited Basic ($16.10), Digital Preferred ($85.90) or Internet Essentials ($9.95) services,” said Bob Grove, Comcast’s vice president of public relations. “While we continue making investments in our network and technology to give customers more for their money, including more video across platforms, better experiences like X1 and faster Internet service, we periodically need to adjust prices due to increases we incur in programming, business costs and new technology. On average, nationally, the customer bill will increase by 3.4 percent.”

Some will pay more than others. Here is a sample:

  • Customers with DVR service face a $2 rate hike for the monthly DVR service charge, which now stands at $10 a month;
  • Digital Premier, which includes an assortment of premium movie channels, is rising from $131.75 to $140.35;
  • The hourly service charge for service calls is increasing from $33.80 to $35.80;
  • Each extra cable outlet in your home will cost a one time service fee of $33.20, up from $32.75;
  • Any pre-existing outlet in your home will now be charged a one time activation fee of $22.95, up from $22.05;
  • Service upgrades that require an in-home visit will be charged $28.45, an increase from $26.30;
  • The in-home wiring service protection plan that covers you in case of an inside cable wiring or service deterioration problem will see a price increase of $1 to $4.95 a month. Customers without the plan will now pay $35.80 an hour for service calls.

Cable television customers face an increase of more than 100% for the company’s Broadcast TV surcharge introduced in 2013. In most areas, the fee is rising from $1.50 per month to $3.25. A previously announced $2 increase in modem rental charges will raise the cost of using Comcast-supplied equipment including Comcast’s Gateway to $10 a month.

Comcast is also introducing a new compulsory regional sports network surcharge of $1 a month for all XFINITY TV packages starting with Digital Starter and higher tiers and XFINITY 450 Latino.

Customers with analog-only televisions using a DTA converter box to handle digital cable television channels on these older sets face an even more dramatic price hike. Customers that used to pay as little as $0.50 for Digital Adapter Additional Outlet Service will now pay $2.99 a month.

Premium channels such as HBO have seen price reductions, possibly in response to declining subscriber numbers. HBO drops to $15 a month and all other premiums decrease to $12 a month.

Comcast customers looking for the biggest bang for their buck should consider bundled service packages which discount Internet, television, and telephone service. Current customers should also consider letting Comcast know they are shopping the competition for a better deal. Ask them to lower your rates if they want you to stay.

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starwarrior125
7 years ago

Never had Comcast and pray I never will. Still using my Grandfathered unlimited Verizon plan with tethering (Over LTE) for internet. Last home ISP I had was ATTand they are just as bad as Comcast.

Debra Fisher
Debra Fisher
7 years ago

I am already taking steps to lower my payout to Comcast. My bill went up by $7 and no services were changed. I have ordered my own modem which will pay for itself in 10 months at the new rental rate. I currently have Comcast Voice but have purchased an Ooma Telo. I also purchased a Simple TV personal video recorder. Now I just need an outdoor antenna. Then, I will only paying Comcast for internet service which is currently around $70 in my area. Better than $150/month. I find that I watch my Roku boxes more than I do… Read more »

yvonne
yvonne
7 years ago
Reply to  Debra Fisher

How can you stream HD tv for free????

teak
teak
6 years ago
Reply to  Debra Fisher

Not only did my monthly amount increase above the $200 mark, for comcast/xfiinity TV and internet, when I had phone service with them and cable or internet went out I had no phone service. I am ill and bedridden and need 911 access 24/7. I often wonder how many people die during the very frequent, lengthy outages. Can’t wait to get the statistics for that! So I have to figure out what to do because my comcast/xfiinity TV and internet is now a tad more than one quarter of my monthly disability income.Stop eating, maybe stop my medicines… They (comcast)… Read more »

Jack Offten
Jack Offten
7 years ago

Suddenlink just doubled my broadcast surcharge fee to almost $7 and added a sports surcharge fee of $3 and increased my basic double play rate by $3 after raising it $3 only five months ago. Good grief!

maze321
maze321
7 years ago

It’s WRONG and should be **ILLEGAL** to charge customers for services they don’t USE!!! “Broadcast services” are NOT USED BY CABLE SUBSCRIBERS!!! It’s the whole point of cable in the first place!! (Not using Broadcast services) ALSO, this is a sliding rate (not consistent, and not in the advertised prices!)

karen
karen
7 years ago

I agree with everyone here: it shouldn’t be legal. And I guess when viewership numbers drop significantly, or when advertising dollars drop, cable companies will be forced to come up with a new, better plan. We didn’t have cable for about 4 or 5 years, and we were able to get HD channels anyway–about 22 channels, really, who could ask for more? Nevertheless, we decided last year to purchase the least expensive cable package on only ONE tv in our house, and our cost is reasonable–about $20 per month. Oddly enough, though, the picture quality with cable is not as… Read more »

Linda
Linda
7 years ago

My monthly rate went from $131.26 to $158.35. I do not use On Demand, have no video equipment, and do not use digital voice unlimited. Why is this listed in my bundle package when I don’t use any of it? I’m NOT paying for something I do not use!! It’s OUTRAGEOUS what is charged. I do not have the money to keep paying for these services that I don’t use.

Donna
Donna
6 years ago

Guess it’s now time to switch to Direct TV since rates at Comcast just keep going up. Just can’t justify paying this much for tv and internet, especially since I’m now retired and my husband wants to be. Comcast, you really need to get a grip on these costs. If more people would switch, perhaps then Comcast would figure it out.

Stace
Stace
6 years ago

Maybe we start a change.org petition? I am sure we would get their attention then and maybe get some help about these ridiculous fees.

josh4trunks
josh4trunks
6 years ago
Reply to  Stace

I don’t think we could force a private company to do something. if you don’t like their service/fee you are free to cancel.

the shady stuff we probably could change would be agreements they force into municipalities to have exclusive rights.
either they should be exclusive and run as a public utility (which means government controlled rates) or they should allow competition so they free market dictates rates.
problem is laying cable is freaking expensive and needs local approval.

then people complain people are working on the roads… =|

Tom
Tom
6 years ago

We’re going to cancel Comcast cable TV and phone (who needs a home phone anymore?) on Monday. We will stay with Comcast internet, unless that by itself is ridiculous $$, in which case we will buy the slowest package. I’ve been with Comcast for 23 years, but at $225/mo, saying buh-bye to the expensive stuff will be easy. 🙂

teak
teak
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom

The mid level internet is sitting right around $75 a month for me. New customer get the same for $50–so only current customers (those over 12 months) get screwed I guess! Way to go comcast/xfinity!!

Download speed tests: 39.99 mbps (mid level says up to 75 mbps)
Upload speed tests: 12.09 mbps

CherylAnneEva
CherylAnneEva
6 years ago

Only 11 comments since January.
People must not be LOOKING at their bills.

Amanda
Amanda
6 years ago

I took a look at my bill and for no reason Comcast suddenly started charging me $10 a month for a voice/data modem rental that I don’t have. Beware and check your bill thoroughly. Comcast sneaks charges on for services you don’t have. Absolutely hate this company. On top of the bogus $10 they raised all the rates so my bill went from $186 a month to $219 a month. I would never recommend Comcast to anyone. Horribly deceptive company. Oh and then there is the junk equipment that Comcast uses. I have had three X1 boxes replaced in a… Read more »

tacitus
tacitus
6 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

Unless it’s unavoidable, splitting your services between two companies very unlikely to give you the best deal. Companies will offer by far the biggest discounts on bundled services.

Also, look into buying your own modem. If you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, ask someone to help you. At $10/month, even the most expensive cable modems will pay for themselves within a year, and depending on the speed you require, you can pick up a second hand cable modem from Amazon for as little as $45.

Amanda
Amanda
6 years ago
Reply to  tacitus

Thanks for all the replies. Tacitus I do have my own modem and I have always have had my own modem. This is why I am so mad. This is a bogus charge for equipment I don’t even have. So I talked with Comcast today and got nowhere. They basically don’t want my business after 18 years and are giving me a hard time about refunding me the charge for the modem. They said it will take at least 14 days for them to look into the issue with the modem being mine and not being leased from Comcast. I… Read more »

MBuddha
MBuddha
6 years ago

The 150mbs internet is $78.95. I own my own modem. I just cut the cord and went back to internet only. My deal wasn’t all that bad – about $109 for internet and some channels (local, amc, comedy, food) plus HBO, but I don’t use it. I watched all the shows on HBO, so when something comes back (i.e. new GoT) I can get the standalone HBO Now, at least temporarily. I already have Netflix. I have an HD antenna for local channels/most football games. Picking up the ad-free Hulu ($12) and probably their Showtime add-on ($9 – it’s $11… Read more »

Ed
Ed
6 years ago

Say goodbye to the internet only solution to lowering your bill. Comcast is onto it. They are now capping at 300mb and charging an extra $35 to avoid the cap. If that hasn’t happened to you yet, just wait. It will. Especially if you live in an area that doesn’t have any comparable competition. A streaming family of 3 will blow through that cap in half a month. Anyone downgraded from Blast to Performance yet?

MBuddha
MBuddha
6 years ago

I just returned my cable box, and hoping a face to face convo would net me a better deal (it did not), I decided to try the 25mbps for $66.95. That makes the cost of other streaming services (Netflix $9 although I already had the whole time with cable tv so I don’t really figure it in, but now Hulu $12 and Showtime Add-on through Hulu $9) worth it. Plus an HD antenna for local. At the 25mbps speed (which for that price used to be 50mbps so that’s BS but whatever), streaming HD is fine (one user here). Websites… Read more »

will doherty
will doherty
6 years ago

Outragious!!
from $0 to $5.00 for broadcast tv fee and $0 to $3.00 for sports fee per month which is $0 to $96 per year.Why aren’t these fees included in my $140 monthly bundled services fee?

Susan
Susan
6 years ago

The Broadcast Fee has been in place for about 2 years while the Regional Sports Fee was implemented last year. The only way you can go from $0 to $5 and $0 to $3 (at the same time) is if you are rolling off a promotional rate that you have had for 2 years. The previous rate for Broadcast Fee was $3.00 and Regional Sports Fee was $1. The Broadcast TV fee recovers a portion of the costs of re-transmitting television broadcast signals. The Regional Sports Fee recovers a portion of the costs to transmit certain regional sports networks. Comcast… Read more »

Vk1
Vk1
6 years ago

Yikes!!!! Just saw my bill and there is $20 in FEES alone….$20???

Im on the $49 internet pro plus (which gives you few channels too like AMC)

But instead of $49, i am paying $71!!

$10 for hd technology???? Its 2016, HD should not be an extra technology!!!
$5 for ABC, NBC??? If i power off my box, those cone over the air!!!!
$4 for bedroom outlet????
$2 for fees

$20!!!

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