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Staying connected has just become more expensive – at least for Comcast Business Class Internet customers. The largest cable operator in the U.S. has quietly added an equipment fee to its high-speed Business Class Internet service. The additional $7 fee (plus taxes) was implemented in December 2011 and will appear on new invoices to cover the “wear and tear” of modems, according to a Comcast customer service representative. The new fee will be charged regardless of age of the modem, so even customers that did not see any equipment fees in the past will notice a substantial price hike.

"At Comcast, we strive to minimize passing expenses on to our customers. However, from time to time it is necessary to increase certain fees in order to keep pace with the costs of running our business," Comcast says on its website here. "In the last several years, we have made significant upgrades to our network, customer equipment and software in order to provide a fast and reliable experience for our Business Class customers."

Comcast is the largest home Internet service provider in the United States. It also offers cable television and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers. In January 2011, the Philadelphia based company acquired a majority stake in media conglomerate NBC Universal, after seeing revenue increases of 51% to $14.3 billion, from $9.53 billion. Comcast has significant holding in several cable networks, including E! Entertainment Television, G4, Style Network, and The Golf Channel. The company is active in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

We are calling on Comcast to drop their new "equipment rental" fee, which essentially increases the costs for internet services by upto 12% over previous month's charges.

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Letter to
Vice President, Financial Operations, Comcast Corporation Joseph F. DiTrolio
Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, Comcast Corporation Michael J. Angelakis
Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation Stephen B. Burke
and 11 others
Vice President, Corporate Communications, Comcast Corporation Jennifer Khoury Newcomb
President, Comcast/NBC Universal, Washington, D.C., Comcast Corporation Kyle E. McSlarrow
Senior Vice President and Treasurer, Comcast Corporation William E. Dordelman
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Comcast Corporation Arthur R. Block, Esq.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Comcast Corporation D'Arcy F. Rudnay
Vice President, Administration, Comcast Corporation Karen Dougherty Buchholz
Managing Director & Head of Funds, Comcast Ventures and Senior Vice President, Comcast Corporation Amy Banse
Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation David L. Cohen
Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Comcast Corporation Ralph J. Roberts
Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Comcast Corporation Mark A. Coblitz
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Corporation Brian L. Roberts
I am disappointed to learn that Comcast has quietly instituted a new $7 equipment fee on cable modems, regardless of the age of the equipment.

In this sluggish economy your customers don't have extra cash to be adding to your coffers, especially since your company has recently generated more than $14 billion in revenues - an increase of 51% over the year-earlier period. But it's not just about the money. Your company should not assume that it can do anything it wishes to your customers, regardless of your contractual agreements, and expect that we will allow it to happen.

I call on Comcast to drop this new fee for online access.


Kenneth Tannenbaum started this petition with a single signature, and now has 119 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.