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Comcast once again ruins Christmas | Cartoon

Hooray! Comcast rate hike day is almost upon us!

Rob Tornoe / staff

Are you an Xfinity subscriber? If so, Comcast has some coal for your stocking.

In what has become a predictable holiday tradition, Comcast is yet again raising the cost of its Xfinity cable service on tens of millions of customers. According to my colleague Christian Hetrick, bills will rise an average of 3% nationwide, but it’s the trend over the last couple of years that deserves your attention.

In 2018, the combined cost for broadcast TV, the regional sports fee, and modem rental was $25.25. Next year, it will total $45.85 — a 82% increase in just five years.

Comcast is also hiking what customers pay for broadband internet. Here’s how Hetrick sums up the changes, which will hit all the “cord cutters” who shed their high cable TV bills but still need to pay for internet access:

Comcast will raise the cost of its “Gigabit” plan — with download speeds of up to 1,200 megabits per second (mbps) and upload speeds of 35 mbps — to $113.95, about 2.7% higher than the current $110.95. Cheaper plans are similarly increasing by $3 per month. On the low end, the “Performance” plan (100 mbps download and 5 mbps upload) is increasing 3.7% from $80.95 to $83.95.

Comcast is a massive corporation, and I’m not here to tell any business how much to charge for their product. And the company certainly took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, through their third-quarter results this year were nearly back to normal. But if I were an executive, I’d consider postponing the annual rate hike to, say, April or May, when customers are flush with tax return money and their holiday bills have been paid off.

At the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by the late, great Dr. Seuss, the Christmas-hating fiend realizes he’s in the wrong and returns all the stolen trees and presents. By comparison, Comcast seems to be perpetually stuck at the top of the mountain, waiting to hear the cries from the Whos down in Who-ville.

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