Comcast cranks up extra charges on cable bills, again, even for people who signed contracts promising a lower rate

Once again, Comcast is repeating its annual tradition of hiking "broadcast TV" and "regional sports network" hidden fees at a rate far above inflation, typically raising them from $14.50 to $18.25/month, rise of about 25%.

The majority of Comcast customers will see the increase on Jan 1, with remaining customers getting hit on a rolling basis as the year progresses.

These fees are deceptively not listed in advertised Comcast rates and Comcast reserves the right to hike these prices even for accounts under contract.

Comcast is also set to ratchet up prices on its $1.2 billion/year cable modem scam, in which customers pay many multiples of the purchase price to rent substandard, insecure modems as part of their cable package (Comcast also killed a FCC rule that would have forced them to allow us to buy our cable boxes rather than spending $200/year to rent an electricity-hungry, underpowered, insecure set-top box).

The cable industry is the most hated in America and Comcast is the most hated company in America, and, incredibly, the rate at which people hate Comcast is increasing (people actually love their municipal, publicly owned ISPs, which Comcast is trying to eliminate).

Comcast has abandoned rural customers to a life where access to networks — and hence customers, suppliers, education, healthcare, and employment — is third-rate and overpriced.

Comcast's mom-and-pop competitors have called for antitrust enforcement against the company (weirdly, they are backed by Donald Trump in this call), without much action (so far).

Comcast faced a class-action lawsuit over the TV and sports fees, but the company settled out of court in May. Comcast did not disclose the terms of the settlement when asked about the case today. We contacted the plaintiffs' lawyer and will provide an update if we get one. (UPDATE: Plaintiffs' attorney Dan Hattis told Ars that the plaintiffs voluntarily allowed the case to be dismissed. However, Hattis is representing other plaintiffs in a newer, bigger class action against Comcast. The newer suit was filed on behalf of 2 million California residents.)

"We have always listed the Broadcast TV and Regional Sports Network fees separately on customers' bills and have included clear disclosures about them in our advertising," Comcast told Ars today.

Comcast raises cable TV bills again—even if you're under contract [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]