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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

Comcast's rates could soar for Internet service

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By Clark Howard

The nation's largest cable operator is about to stick it to customers who watch streaming video without a pay TV package. Fortunately, you have alternatives in the marketplace!

Comcast has been testing metered home Internet on a city-by-city basis, according to Test markets over the last 12 months have included Nashville, Savannah, Ga., Jackson, Miss., and parts of Kentucky.

Now beginning December 1, metering will be coming to Atlanta. The first 300GB of Internet will be included in plans for Xfinity Internet customers in the metro area. But if you use anything beyond that, you'll be charged $10 for each additional 50GB. It's the first time I know of that Comcast is attempting metering in a very large market.

By doing this, they're trying to force people to subscribe to their pay TV service instead of watching streaming content from Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Prime. It's an expected move as the cable monopolies see subscribers leave for satellite, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, and these other options.

So Comcast's rates could soar for Internet service, but you don't have to take it. What move should you make if you don't want their overpriced TV package? Go to your local monopoly phone company for Internet. Pretty soon Google will be a viable alternative too, but not quite yet.

Technology will make it possible for competitors to enter the marketplace and ride to the rescue. But be warned that Comcast sees this situation as you upsetting their profit margins, and they're going to try to make you pay.

As always, if somebody from Comcast wants to come on the air and explain yourselves, you're welcome to do so!

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