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Expect Higher TV and Internet Prices in 2021

(Noted News) — As early as January 1st, Comcast will be hiking up prices for TV and internet connections, starting in Chicago and then expanding to the rest of the U.S. 

According to Ars Technica, Comcast will be adding up to $4.50 a month to the “broadcast fee”, and $2 a month to their Regional Sports Network fee (RSN); about a $78 a year increase in fees for cable television subscribers, using fees that aren’t even advertised. 

A spokesperson for Comcast told Ars Technica that  “Customers on promotional pricing will not see that pricing change until the end of the promotion, but the RSN and Broadcast TV fees will increase because they’re not part of the promotional pricing.”

“Other changes for 2021 include a Broadcast TV Fee increase of up to $4.50 depending on the market; $3 increase for Internet-only service; and up to a $2.50 increase for TV boxes on the primary outlet, with a decrease of up to $2.45 for TV boxes on additional outlets.”

News of the price hikes went viral on a post in r/cordcutters, a Reddit group that feels ripped off by conventional cable services and advocates streaming and on-demand services instead. 

Comcast, which has a near-monopoly over cable and internet services in the U.S., is claiming that the price hike is due to rising costs of hiring programmers, mostly for broadcast TV and sports. 

“Rising programming costs—most notably for broadcast TV and sports—continue to be the biggest factors driving price increases for all content distributors and their customers, not just Comcast. We’re continuing to work hard to manage these costs for our customers while investing in our network to provide the best, most reliable broadband service in the country and the flexibility to choose our industry-leading video platform with X1 or the highest quality streaming product with Flex, the only free streaming TV device with a voice remote that’s included with broadband service.” 

On top of the higher prices, Comcast will start enforcing a 1.2 TB cap on data usage on broadband customers, and then charging an extra $10 for every additional 50 GB, maxing out at $100. This policy will go live next year in 39 states.

Comcast justified the cap to The Verge, saying that 95% of its customers never even get close to using that much data per month, and that over the last six months, the median monthly data usage was roughly 308GB. Skeptics of the new policy note the increase in people working from home as something that will drive up demand and ultimately conflict with the new cap system.  

Comcast is the biggest cable company and broadband company in the country. Their main competitor is Charter, which also routinely raises its fees. 

Comcast Corporation trades on the Nasdaq and has increased 67% since the market correction in March.

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