Don’t Like Time Warner’s New Cable Modem Fee? Buy Your Own!



I noticed the $3.95 a month cable modem lease fee that Time Warner added onto my bill, back in November, I think, but I paid little attention to it. I should have—money is money, right? And I’m not poor, but I’m certainly not wealthy.

So now they’ve raised the fee to $5.99 a month, and maybe that hit some magical threshold in the financial center of my brain, but I decided that enough is enough. The good thing is, there’s an easy solution: I bought my own cable modem. Yes, although Time Warner (and likely all other cable companies) doesn’t advertise the fact, you have no reason to lease their modems—you can just as easily buy your own.

Since I had also just upgraded my service to a faster speed, I figured I’d get rid of the ancient Motorola cable modem I’d been using for years (and paying for since November) with a newer model, the Motorola SB6121 SURFboard. This unit should last me well into the future, as it supports DOCSIS 3.0, and even should I leave Time Warner for a different ISP, I can always sell it. It’s $70 right now at Amazon.

Setup was easy as pie. Just plug it into power and the cable network, then call Time Warner to activate it. I was done in about 15 minutes, and my ping times have improved significantly. So there are no technical reasons to avoid the switch.

It’ll take me a year to pay back the purchase by saving the leasing fees, but that’s okay. At least I’m spending my money on something I own. So, rather than complaining about the increase, why not avoid it completely and buy your cable modem?

As always, leave your thoughts in the comments.


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