Outside of the rental price, why purchase your own? Is paying $3.95 a month really that big of a deal? And yes, its $3.95 not $4.00 (for proof, see the screen shot above). That is direct from my girlfriends bill (She lives in Oak Creek, WI).
Also listed in that same section (and I think unreported by the media) is the fact that (at least in her market), is the cost to rent the STB is also going up from $8.95 to $10.00 for each STB that you have.
The question I have asked on here many times is this: What Benefit do you have for owning your own modem? Things that come to mind I have listed below.
Do you control the firmware updates do it?
Can you do anything different with a store bought Cable Modem that you cannot do with one that you lease from the Cable Company?
What is the process to replace it if it goes bad?
What happens if you need a new one, or want to upgrade?
The 1st two I believe have an answer of No. Even if you own your own modem, you cannot apply firmware updates, even if you feel it will make things better. I also feel that you cannot do anything to the configuration of a modem, regardless if you rent it, or purchase it. All you can do is look at the static web pages that show you signal strength and other information. For the last two, I see it involving you going back to the place you bought it, and if under warranty, replacing it for free. But, what if its not or you did not get the warranty? Then you have to purchase another one. Want to upgrade? Again, back to the store to get a new one, and spend more money. With a rented one, you just call them up (or go down to the local office), swap out, activate, and done. No additional cost by the end user.
While I'm all for choice, I just don't see the big deal to purchase the modem.
To me, if the ISP is charging a reasonable fee each month to rent the modem, it gives me peace of mind knowing that if anything needs to be fixed, replaced, configured, or upgraded, it falls on the ISP's shoulders, and not something I need to worry about.
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The way it was when I had suddenlink was they would take care of the configuration and updating firmware. I had a bad update get sent to my modem from the system once or twice. All it took for them was to click a few buttons on the computer to send a fresh update to the modem. No truck roll or anything else. From talking with the techs it seems that modems don't go bad that often. I did get to talk with them when they accidentally disconnected the wrong line. I had my modem for about three years and recouped my costs and then some. That is why most people buy a modem to save in the long term.
There isn't much of a reason to upgrade every few months or even years as cable systems don't change technologies that often. D2 to D3 was a big change but a lot of D2 modems are still going happily. My D2 surfboard is still handed out by SuddenLink for those on the lower tiers (in my area 10/1). A D3 modem should get one along for a long time.