Being a cable-broadband user has it’s perks and drawbacks.
We have (what I think is) a pretty standard hi-speed cable-broadband network access package.
What I have been aggravated about is the seemingly small-but-incremental service charge increases for our cable/internet service.
Thursday as I was driving between sites I happened to catch Susan Crawford discussing her book “Captive Audience” on the Diane Rehm show on our local NPR channel. Show link: Susan Crawford: "Captive Audience." It was both educating and frustrating, particularly as both a consumer and network support guy. I really know better than to listen to “talk radio” programs while dealing with big-city traffic. It creates a vicious feedback cycle.
That later got me thinking -- again -- about the monthly $7.00 cable-modem rental fee we pay each month. The charge started showing up on our bill again after some broadband service issues we were having. Comcast decided the issue was partially related to a bad/failing Comcast broadband router we had been provided when we signed up for the service. Turns out that when they replaced the router, they also began tacking on the rental fee that hadn’t been there before, apparently since it was the latest model. Nice. I understand they sometimes remove the fee when a modem model goes out of support and they “give/donate” the modem to the subscriber.
Anyway, I looked into it and depending on the model of broadband router you get, you can probably recoup the cost in just over a year or so.
So here are some links I found that I want to keep for quick reference.
I haven’t made a final decision, but since we don’t have a “triple-play” deal, nor use their VOIP service, it looks like a pretty smart decision.
- Time Warner’s new $4 monthly modem rental fee incites class action suit - Ars Technica
- Open Security Research: Comcast and DOCSIS 3.0 - Worth the upgrade? - Open Security Research - This is the post that got me started researching the possibility of buying my own broadband modem. Excellent material from Tony Lee.
- 3 Ways to Get Rid of your Comcast Modem Rental Fee - 20SomethingFinance post by G.E.Miller
- How to Replace a Comcast Modem with your Own - 20SomethingFinance follow-up post by G.E.Miller
- DOCSIS Devices - list of currently supported and approved cable modems for Comcast/Xfinity networks.
- My New Modem by XFINITY - Models (and off-site links) for recommended devices for Xfinity customers looking to buy their own.
- Motorola SurfBoard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem - Amazon.com - I’m leaning to this device right now. I already have a rock-solid WiFi router downstream so I don’t really need/want an all-in-one device.
- Motorola SB6121 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem - Amazon.com - This was the model recommended by Tony Lee. It is was replaced by the SB6141 model but is still available at about $25 less than that model.
- Motorola SURFboard Gateway SBG6580 DOCSIS 3.0 Wireless Cable Modem - Amazon.com - Also highly recommended, but as I said, I really don’t need the built-in Wi-Fi features.