As their monopolistic practices regarding content come under fire from forthcoming OTT services like Sling TV, Comcast, unsurprisingly, is attempting to extract more revenue from customers via other “services.” To wit, as, Ars Technica noticed, Comcast recently upped their modem rental fee from $8 to $10 per month.
The whole idea of modem rental is a business model predicated on information asymmetry. That is, most customers don’t realize either that they’re actually renting the modem at all or that they could buy their own modem. The internet tends to dislike business-models based on this type of information asymmetry.
I just don’t like renting when I can own, recurring fees, or Comcast.
So…I decided to “cut the modem chord.” It’s not hard, and you can do it too.
Here are the steps:
1. Buy this modem (ARRIS / Motorola SB6121 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem).
2. Write down the MAC number that is on a sticker on the bottom of the Modem (and on the box).
3. Call Comcast – be prepared to be cut off, sent to various “wrong” departments, and other indignities – and tell them that you bought your own modem and that you need them to activate it. They should say “OK,” and ask for the MAC number. Stay on the phone with them until they promise you it’s activated.
4. Disconnect your old modem, and connect your new modem.
5. Return your old modem to Comcast.
6. After 6.4 months, enjoy the knowledge that you’re now saving money by not renting a modem.
That’s it. As an added bonus, if you are using something like an Apple Airport Express/Extreme as your wireless router, and you previously had a Comcast modem that also had wireless capability, you should experience far less occurrences of your internet going out and having to reset your Apple router because there will be no interference from the new modem (if you buy what I recommend above). Of course, if you were using your old Comcast modem as your wireless router, you’ll either need a combo modem/router or to buy a wireless router.