Comcast Hikes Cable-Modem Rates

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Comcast Corp. has joined the list of cablers hiking prices for high-speed
Internet customers.

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

The monthly service charge will rise from $32.95 to $39.95. Customers who
rent modems from Comcast will get a break, with the monthly rental fee dropping
from $7 to $5. Customers who buy their own modems will still pay about $199 for

The increase is the first since Comcast introduced cable-modem service in
1996, the MSO added. It brings the fees in line with what the operator is
already charging new customers. Comcast raised its new customer rates earlier
this year.

The hikes will go into effect on a market-by-market basis throughout
Comcast's footprint. Customers in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have
already been notified of the increase, with other markets to follow, a
spokeswoman said.

The increase follows similar moves by other MSOs this year. In May, AT&T
Broadband announced cable-modem rate increases of about $5 per month, depending
on the systems, with the average rate rising from $39.95 to $45.95 for customers
leasing modems. Charter Communications Inc. also hiked its rates $5 for its
three high-speed Internet tiers.

Analysts pointed not only to a harder focus on revenue generation as a reason
for the increase, but also to lessening pressure as the competitive
digital-subscriber-line market has imploded.