In addition to figuring out ways to shaft cord cutters, Comcast also seems to love thinking of new ways to gouge its customers by vastly overcharging for things it should be offering for free, such as HD service for basic network television channels. Writing in The New Yorker, Tim Wu similarly makes note of Comcast’s enthusiasm for slapping customers with fees and notes the following mind-blowing fact: “Netflix’s fee of $7.95 a month is what Comcast charges you to lease a modem.”
In other words, Netflix is charging you $8 a month for unlimited digital streaming that includes access to entire seasons of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, House of Cards and other favorite shows along with an ever-growing library of feature films. Comcast is charging you the same amount just to rent a modem that will give you access to the Internet service you’re already paying $70 a month or so to use.
For what it’s worth, Comcast’s monthly $8 modem rental fee is the highest we’ve seen among major cable providers. Time Warner Cable currently charges a comparatively paltry $5 a month to lease a modem while Cox charges $7 a month for a modem and router package. This is just yet another fact to keep in your head the next time Comcast tells you what a “pro-consumer” company it is.