Time Warner to start charging rental fees for cable modems - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-03-2012, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
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It's not exactly HDTV Technical, but since more and more of us are either streaming or downloading HD content, I thought it worth a thread here. - Doc

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Tech/Business Notes
Time Warner Cable to Charge Modem Rental Fee
By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times - Oct. 2, 2012

Time Warner Cable, the big broadband and cable provider, is planning to start charging customers a monthly fee of $3.95 for renting a cable modem from the company. It said in notifications mailed to customers this week that the new fee would go into effect over the next two months.

Internet customers who want to avoid the monthly fee can purchase a modem of their own and have Time Warner Cable activate it. The company has published a list of approved modems on its Web site. The compatible modems cost between $50 and $137 on Amazon.com.

Time Warner Cable lists two main types of modems that people can buy: Docsis 2.0, which works with lower-end, slower Internet services, or Docsis 3.0, for the more expensive, faster packages. For budget-conscious consumers who buy the $50 modem, it will take a year to break even.

But many consumers who are less tech-savvy are unlikely to go through the hassle of purchasing and installing their own modem, so the policy change will probably lead to a big boost in revenue for Time Warner Cable.

The company said the new fee was necessary to make up for the cost of distributing and replacing cable modems over time.

“As we continue to deploy more and more cable modems, many of these modems need servicing or replacing, get damaged and some are not returned,” said Justin Venech, a spokesman for Time Warner Cable. “The monthly lease charge will allow us to service or replace the equipment as needed and helps provide a better user experience.”

Though most Time Warner Cable customers have not had to pay to rent modems in the past, these types of leasing fees are a common practice among Internet providers. Comcast, another broadband provider, charges a modem rental fee of $7 a month.


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post #2 of 7 Old 10-03-2012, 07:07 AM
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My big question is can I buy a DOCSIS 3 modem on a DOCSIS 2 plan to be future proof..?


[EDIT] Answering my own question, it appears almost all DOCSIS3 modems are DOCSIS2 compatible. However there are not any on the approved list that support Phone (as far as I can tell).

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post #3 of 7 Old 10-04-2012, 05:33 AM
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I've been with Charter cable for a good many years and they have always charged for modem rentals. It's cheaper to buy your own but it is kind of nice when you have a problem to be able to take it to their store and get a new one.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-05-2012, 06:56 AM
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As far as I know Comcast always charged $10 a month to rent one if you didn't buy one from them, or have your own. At least I know when I had them that was how it worked, not 100% sure if it still works that way.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-05-2012, 07:18 AM
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I rented from Comcast for well over ten years, I was only charged ~$3 per month.

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post #6 of 7 Old 10-05-2012, 09:44 AM
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Here Comcast raised it to $5 some time ago, and I bought a modem.  But then we switched our phone service to Comcast, so we needed an EMTA, which apparently are nearly impossible to buy, so we're paying $7 a month to rent the EMTA, which doubles as a DOCSIS 3.0 modem.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-05-2012, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I rented from Comcast for well over ten years, I was only charged ~$3 per month.
Correct, at least here in the SF bay market it was $3 for as long as I can remember. I believe they just recently increased it to $7. I've never paid a modem rental fee myself, it is far more cost effective just to purchase it. With rising rental rates it will end up paying for itself even faster than before, at $7 per month a very good 8x4 DOCSIS 3 modem will have been paid for in only 10 months of service.
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