Uh oh. Looks like Comcast is planning to buy Time Warner. The combined company would service roughly 30% of all TV customers in the U.S.! And if I remember my local newscast properly, roughly 1 in 3 internet customers.
Time Warner is my own internet provider and well – I’m not a huge fan. I’m desperately hoping someday we’ll have another competitor as an option. But that’s pretty much just blind faith and hope. But being taken over by Comcast? Even worse!
That’s right, Comcast charges modem rental fees. Time Warner does the same, and I’ve already outlined how to buy your own cable modem for Time Warner customers and end the lease fees. Well in honor of this news, and in anticipation that I may now be a Comcast customer by year’s end, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a page on how to buy your own Comcast modem and eliminate the rental fees of $7 a month. Seriously, $84 a year in fees on top of the ridiculous rates they charge you for internet access and cable TV. It’s highway robbery.
We currently don’t have cable or satellite TV in our home. That’s because we found we just didn’t watch it enough to justify the cost, though we do miss watching the Buffalo Sabres play. So we grab free TV using antennas and supplement by subscribing to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime on and off. People looking to really cut their expenses should try to avoid signing up for cable or satellite, but this is one area most people don’t want to give up. So, if you just can’t give it up, at least try and reduce your bill as much as you can1
Surprisingly, a number of people just keep paying cable and satellite companies giants wads of cash indiscriminately for their entire lives. I’ll admit it, I had DirecTV for two years with my wife. We love the Buffalo Sabres and wanted to watch the games. Unfortunately for us there aren’t very many options when it comes to watching an NHL in-market team, so if we wanted to see them it was cable or satellite. While we still would love to see the Sabres, we found the bill in our second year to be a giant sucking hole in our wallet.
Time Warner Cable started charging a “lease fee” for their cable modems back in November of last year for $3.95 a month. Now they’re sticking it to customers again by raising the rates to $5.99 a month! It’s absurd. Oftentimes the cable modems they provide are bare bones cheapies that you can easily get on Amazon. Buy your own modem for Time Warner Cable / Roadrunner to avoid the ridiculous lease fee they charge. Make your money back in a few months!
At the new rate, it’d take just over four months to recover the cost buying that base model uBee cable modem I linked. I strongly suggest you grab one today and return theirs to get rid of that fee. If you have a higher-tier service level it may require a slightly nicer modem. I personally grabbed the Motorola SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 High-Speed Cable Modem. It’s worked great for me, and if they ever bump my service speed or I upgrade to a higher service level I should be covered. Plus it’s on their officially supported listing. Of course, for a nicer quality modem the payback period becomes around 15 months.
Update: I’ve posted an easy list of Comcast-supported modems and routers that you can grab, which may be helpful now that Comcast is buying Time Warner.