Xfinity Cable Service Increase

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,337
4,467
Pines; Bamber area
In December of 2023, their service was increased by 7%.
In December of 2024, my bill was again increased, this time by 9.7%

I have a couple questions. I'd like some feedback if I'm wrong. There is something rotten in the way they are doing this. They must have submitted a big increase of 17% to the NJ Board of Public Utilities in Decemeber 2023, and maybe the BPU said "oh no, but we will allow it over a span of a year so the public does not rise up.

1) Do you think that may be true?

2) Comcast has zero competition in the "cable" market (I think) because they were the only ones able to lease the utility pole system. Is this true, and if so, can we break that monopoly?
 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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All I can say is, "yeah it sucks". But everything is going up, Discovery Plus increased their ad-free subscription cost by 30%, which was outrageous. Actually I was glad, had been thinking I should cancel and that made it a no-brainer. In that case, apparently they were pushing people away from the ad-free version to the regular version where the subscription is cheaper but they make more money from the ads. Comcast is losing subscribers like crazy for both their cable and internet service, the reason for the rate increase might be as simple as that, spreading their costs over a smaller number of people. No idea what the regulatory issues are.

Comcast might not have competition in the "cable" market, but IMO, that's becoming pretty irrelevant. All I want is a fast, reliable internet connection. I'll stream whatever I want on any device, there's lots of competition, they have free trials and you can cancel their plans at any time.

Is there some reason why you still need traditional cable service? How much would it cost to only buy internet access from Comcast if you dropped the cable package? But I have no interest in televised sports. Have heard people say that you need cable to get some game they want to watch, no idea if that is still true however. Things are changing very fast and the cable companies know it.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,337
4,467
Pines; Bamber area
All I can say is, "yeah it sucks". But everything is going up, Discovery Plus increased their ad-free subscription cost by 30%, which was outrageous. Actually I was glad, had been thinking I should cancel and that made it a no-brainer. In that case, apparently they were pushing people away from the ad-free version to the regular version where the subscription is cheaper but they make more money from the ads. Comcast is losing subscribers like crazy for both their cable and internet service, the reason for the rate increase might be as simple as that, spreading their costs over a smaller number of people. No idea what the regulatory issues are.

Comcast might not have competition in the "cable" market, but IMO, that's becoming pretty irrelevant. All I want is a fast, reliable internet connection. I'll stream whatever I want on any device, there's lots of competition, they have free trials and you can cancel their plans at any time.

Is there some reason why you still need traditional cable service? How much would it cost to only buy internet access from Comcast if you dropped the cable package? But I have no interest in televised sports. Have heard people say that you need cable to get some game they want to watch, no idea if that is still true however. Things are changing very fast and the cable companies know it.
I have no other option here, maybe because here the utilities are underground and someone like Verizon does not want to fool with that? I'm not getting alternate offers at all. I'm a Phillies and Cable news fan, and still reluctant to give that up.

Everyone wants a piece of you, right? Subscription for this, subscription for that, it's killing me. And everyone piles in. On my car they want a monthly fee for the navigation, and ATT got onboard and itching to give me in-car Wifi at a price. I don't even know what I need that for? They talk about wifi hot spot. Also, Sirius of course is giving me 3 months free, then it's gone unless you fork over what, $12 a month? What's the old saying in the political community; “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”
 
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Boyd

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I'm a Phillies and Cable news fan, and still reluctant to give that up.

You can still get all of that from various streaming services. You would just cancel your cable plan with Comcast and only get internet from them. Then signup for a streaming package. I have Sling. Their software can be buggy, but generally happy with them and there are hundreds of channels, they keep adding and I don't even know what's there anymore. They have all the major cable news outlets (took an add-on for a couple, like CNBC and Bloomberg, IIRC). Think I pay $50/month for my package, but I don't have any movie channels like Max, Disney, Netflix, whatever. The basic package has lots of sports, also has the local Philadelphia channels but you'd have to check whether that gives you the games you want.

I'll bet there are some other sports fans here who use streaming that could tell you more about that.
 

Boyd

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BTW, the car wifi is nonsense for most people. Maybe useful for a family where kids have their own ipads and want to stream different things while you drive? Otherwise, your phone should give you anything you need. You have an iPhone, right? Most new cars have Apple CarPlay that connects to your phone. That will let you use Google Maps, Apple Maps, HERE maps and others - even that OnX app we've discussed. I have been using the Guru Maps app recently with my own maps via carplay. You might find one of these options is as good as the built-in navigation - and it's free.
 
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Teegate

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How much would it cost to only buy internet access from Comcast if you dropped the cable package?
It is about $107. I stream and my daughters buy Hulu and others. Doing that cut my cable bill more than half.
 
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Boyd

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Should have mentioned, you will need a streaming device of some sort. I use an AppleTV but there are other options from Amazon and others that are really cheap, like $50 (one time purchase). Also, some streaming packages may include it in a promotion. All new TV's also have it built in, my old Sony died and I went to Best Buy for a replacement. They literally don't carry any without built-in streaming apps. Didn't want them, don't use them, but I got 'em anyway. :D

There really are lots of options today, I'll bet you could completely dump Comcast if you wanted to and use a 5g wireless service like the ones that T-Mobile and others are constantly advertising. They will probably have their own streaming packages.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
Should have mentioned, you will need a streaming device of some sort. I use an AppleTV but there are other options from Amazon and others that are really cheap, like $50 (one time purchase). Also, some streaming packages may include it in a promotion. All new TV's also have it built in, my old Sony died and I went to Best Buy for a replacement. They literally don't carry any without built-in streaming apps. Didn't want them, don't use them, but I got 'em anyway. :D

There really are lots of options today, I'll bet you could completely dump Comcast if you wanted to and use a 5g wireless service like the ones that T-Mobile and others are constantly advertising. They will probably have their own streaming packages.
Yes, I could ditch the tv part like Guy did, but that will still leave me having to buy another service to get the phillies and cable news. I have a smart tv, so I would not need one of those sticks like Roku(?) or whatever.
 

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
590
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SJ and SW FL
Should have mentioned, you will need a streaming device of some sort. I use an AppleTV but there are other options from Amazon and others that are really cheap, like $50 (one time purchase). Also, some streaming packages may include it in a promotion. All new TV's also have it built in, my old Sony died and I went to Best Buy for a replacement. They literally don't carry any without built-in streaming apps. Didn't want them, don't use them, but I got 'em anyway. :D

There really are lots of options today, I'll bet you could completely dump Comcast if you wanted to and use a 5g wireless service like the ones that T-Mobile and others are constantly advertising. They will probably have their own streaming packages.
I cut the cable nearly 10 years ago and would never go back. With their last increase, Xfinity Internet only costs me $55/month and with a Roku or a Firestick I get access to more TV than I need. This combined with an antenna (a very important consideration) that gets me all of the local Philly stations I’m well connected. I do pay for the Paramount + subscription only.
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
I cut the cable nearly 10 years ago and would never go back. With their last increase, Xfinity Internet only costs me $55/month and with a Roku or a Firestick I get access to more TV than I need. This combined with an antenna (a very important consideration) that gets me all of the local Philly stations I’m well connected. I do pay for the Paramount + subscription only.
Do you watch the phillies and cable news, or is that free on the firestick
 

c1nj

Explorer
Nov 19, 2008
285
183
I just did this. $102 for xfinity internet and $45 for Sling Blue. Pretty happy so far.
Got all the local channels except CBS 3. Lost Netflix, Peacock and home phone number. Saving about $70.
Even if I buy Netflix separately I still will save tons of money.
Do it!
 
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Boyd

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With Sling, go to this link and scroll down to where it shows the different packages and click "view all channels" to see what they include.


I have the blue plus news extra plan. It also includes Philadelphia broadcast channels 6, 10 and 29 (maybe more) although I never watch them. Do they carry the Phillies games? There's also the orange and blue plan that has more sports.
 

Teegate

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I would never go back. We were using Apple TV and it would buffer quite a bit. So a few weeks back we purchased 2 smart TV’s and that stopped. The girls and myself split the cost on one of them and my wife purchased hers. I don’t even know how to turn a tv on anymore so unless they turn it on it would not get used by me.
 
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enormiss

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Aug 18, 2015
590
383
Atco NJ
This combined with an antenna (a very important consideration) that gets me all of the local Philly stations I’m well connected.

Looking into an antenna should be your 1st step.
Depending on location you could pick up a lot of stations for a small one time cost (antenna)
I also am pointed to Philly and pick up a ton.
That link will show you where the signals are and what you are likely to receive.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
14,337
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Pines; Bamber area
I wrote to the board of public utilities. I got this, which tells me something I didn't know.

Dear Mr. Moyer,

Thank you for writing the Board of Public Utilities (Board), Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications (OCTV&T) concerning Xfinity monopolizing Barnegat.

Competition in the cable television industry has always been legally possible. In our state, under N.J.S.A. 48:5A-23(e), no franchise or contract to provide cable service to a municipality is exclusive. Therefore, another cable provider that wishes to compete against Xfinity or any other provider in a given municipality can apply to the municipality for an “overbuild” franchise. The competing company would be required to build its own set of cables in the public rights-of-way within the municipality. However, this does not guarantee that another cable operator will want to do so since this proposition can be costly. Currently, Verizon FiOS holds a system wide franchise in the state and is permitted to provide service to any municipality without further process. However, they cannot be compelled to provide service and have voluntarily chosen not to do so.

Pursuant to the terms of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and other subsequent legislation, all levels of cable service are deregulated and not subject to review by any level of state government. That means that the Board does not review Xfinity’s rates and Board approval is not required before any increases can be put in effect. The only restriction is that Xfinity provide subscribers with 30 days advance notice of any increase. Xfinity has been printing notice on the bill preceding those increases and/or including printed bill inserts, thereby meeting that requirement.

I'm sorry, but due to lack of regulatory authority, the OCTV&T cannot assist with you competition and rate issues.
 

bicycle tim

Scout
Jun 9, 2018
64
61
tabernacle, nj
Not sure who your cellphone carrier is but if you have 5g watch a video on your phone for five minutes when you’re not on Wi-Fi. Try to do it at night when the younger generation is streaming and gaming. That’s close to the same internet service you’ll get from your carrier if you dump Comcast. Will probably cost you around $50 a month
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,337
4,467
Pines; Bamber area
Not sure who your cellphone carrier is but if you have 5g watch a video on your phone for five minutes when you’re not on Wi-Fi. Try to do it at night when the younger generation is streaming and gaming. That’s close to the same internet service you’ll get from your carrier if you dump Comcast. Will probably cost you around $50 a month
Tim, you don't say whether what you described is a good thing or a bad thing.
 

Boyd

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Tim, you don't say whether what you described is a good thing or a bad thing.

I assume he was talking about wireless 5g internet, such as T-mobile, vs fiber like Comcast and Verizon. I suppose they might slow down at peak periods but really don't know. He was suggesting streaming video on your phone in the evening to simulate how fast that might be.

My FIOS is consistently fast - much faster than needed for streaming - so I never have that kind of issue. If you have a decent Comcast internet connection, I wouldn't expect it to be a problem since they upgraded their infrastructure to fiber many years ago, but I really don't know. Not sure why Guy was having issues with his Apple TV, I have two older ones and they are fine. But there are a lot of variables to consider.
 

bicycle tim

Scout
Jun 9, 2018
64
61
tabernacle, nj
Whether it's a good or bad thing depends on your individual circumstances..Person#1 may live close to a cell tower and not have many neighbors so the 5 g signal they get is strong and doesn't buffer. Person #2 may not be near a cell tower and may share his signal with thousands of people who are texting, streaming and gaming. Person #1 would conceivably benefit from dropping Comcast entirely and getting their internet from their 5g cellphone carrier and their TV from someone like YouTube TV or Sling TV. 5g internet plus YouTube TV is probably around $140/month. TV channels on YouTube are comparable to Comcast. Price of Sling TV would probably be less but channels aren't as extensive. Person #2 is probably better off with Comcast internet and deciding between Comcast, YouTube, Sling and others for TV. You can see if you're closer to person 1 or #2 by trying the test I noted in my previous post.
 
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