Comcast Hikes Rates For High-Speed Data

9/23/2001 8:00 PM Eastern

Add Comcast Corp. to the list of cable operators hiking prices for high-speed Internet customers.

The nation's third-largest MSO has confirmed that as of Oct. 1, it will raise the monthly fees for existing cable-modem customers in its service territories.

Earlier this year, Comcast announced price hikes for new customers. Now, it's applying those rates to existing customers, a spokeswoman said.

It's the first rate increase since Comcast introduced cable modem service in 1996, she added.

But the hikes won't immediately cover Comcast's entire footprint. Instead, the increases will be introduced market by market, starting with Philadelphia and Washington. Some but not all customers in those cities have already been told that their monthly service charge will be raised from $32.95 to $39.95.

Customers who rent a modem from Comcast will get a break, as the monthly rental fee will drop from $7 to $5.

Customers who buy their own modems will still pay about $199.

Comcast's price increase follows similar moves by other MSOs. In May, AT&T Broadband announced it would raise its monthly cable-modem rates about $5, depending on the systems, with the average rate rising from $39.95 to $45.95 for customers that lease a modem. Charter Communications Inc. also raised its rates $5 among for its three high-speed Internet tiers.

Analysts point to a harder focus on revenue generation and lessening pressure from digital-subscriber-line resellers.

With 675,600 cable-modem customers as of the end of the second quarter, Comcast is still on track to meet its 900,000 subscriber goal for 2001, the spokeswoman said.

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