Retailers Say Cable Broadband Providers Are Unfair

from the complain-complain-complain dept

As if the FCC isn’t busy enough already trying to rewrite half of our communications rules and regulations, now a group of retail outlets are complaining that the cable companies are competing unfairly by offering cheap or free cable modem rentals along with their broadband service. They say this makes it difficult for them to sell their own cable modems – and they want the FCC to force the cable companies to charge a fairer price. The cable companies respond by saying that the price of cable modems has dropped over time, and their prices reflect that (though, sneakily, the cable companies simply increased their subscription rates, while lowering their cable modem lease rates – so that overall costs went up). The retailers also say that by giving away modems for next to nothing, it’s slowing the adoption of advanced features. I think that the retailers are going a bit too far. The cable providers have every right to offer a deal on the modems. If it’s preventing people from adopting new features, that just means that the retailers and cable modem providers aren’t doing a good enough job marketing those new features to the public.

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Comments on “Retailers Say Cable Broadband Providers Are Unfair”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:


My cable company wants $15 per month for modem rental, or you can buy it out right for $129. $15 per month X 12 months = $180, so if you plan to stay with them for 1 year, it makes sense to buy it. They also will break it down over four monthly payments of $thirty-something per month.

The only advantage to paying them the $15 per month is that if it breaks, it’s up to them to replace it.

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