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New Comcast TV, Broadband, Phone Price Hikes April First
Competition? Most broadband and TV packages going up by $2 a month...
by Karl Bode 10:02AM Tuesday Mar 09 2010 Tipped by Morac See Profile
Fresh off a suite of price hikes last fall that included an increase in the cable modem rental fee from $3 to $5 a month, Comcast is notifying customers they're raising prices again starting April 1. Many Comcast users are being sent these letters informing them that there's several new rate hikes for broadband and TV services starting April 1, including a hike in the cost of several of Comcast's lower-priced broadband tiers by $2 a month. Several TV packages are also seeing hikes including Comcast's Standard ($61.45 to $63.45) and Expanded (from $48.55 to $50.55) services.

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Comcast's "Economy" 1 Mbps downstream 384 kbps upstream service is jumping from $24.95 to $26.95 for those who bundle other services, and $38.95 to $40.95 for those who don't (what's economical about $41, 1 Mbps service?). Comcast's "Performance" 12 Mbps / 2 Mbps tier is jumping from $42.95 to $44.95 bundled, and $57.95 to $59.95 unbundled. Similarly, Comcast's "Blast!" 16 Mbps / 2 Mbps service will be jumping to $54.95 bundled, and $69.95 unbundled.

Even VoIP service isn't going to be immune from this round of hikes, Comcast raising the price of additional lines for Digital Voice "Premium" service $2 to $21.95, and the price of additional lines for their Digital Voice "Basic" service $2 to $11.95. According to the letter, Comcast is raising prices "as part of our commitment to provide you with the very best entertainment and communications experience."

Of course these changes won't impact you if you're under contract, but they will once your contract expires. Like AT&T's recent slew of price hikes for DSL and VDSL service, Comcast has focused on raising the prices for lower tiers, while leaving the price of their "Ultra" (22/5 Mbps) tier alone at $62.95 bundled, or $77.95 unbundled. That gives the user the impression that it's more "economical" to upgrade to the higher speed tiers.

As usual the question remains: if the industry is half as competitive as the industry says it is, why are carriers allowed to continually jack up prices in unison without competitive repercussions?

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