Please clarify and confirm that the monthly charge for the XFINITY Stream app on Roku will be $7.45. Yes? Customer Service and Customer Solutions do not disclose this fact, or have not been informed, but a company spokesperson and the FCC have.
A Comcast spokesperson confirmed that the company will be charging customers an "access fee" of $7.45 for each TV using the Roku app. That's the same price Comcast charges customers who use a TiVo or other CableCard device instead of renting a set-top box from Comcast. FCC rules require Comcast and other cable operators to give subscribers a discount if they use a Cablecard device instead of renting a set-top box, which is why the price is discounted for Comcast customers.
"What makes this fee striking is that it's not designed to pay for any particular cost to Comcast's business. The $9.95 fee that 99 percent of cable customers pay for set-top boxes is listed on bills as an equipment "rental fee." Even the Cablecard fee includes a bit of hardware from the cable operator. But the Roku app is purely software. It doesn't require a piece of equipment supplied by the cable company, nor does it require a technician to come to your home to set it up."
But Gigi Sohn, who served as a senior adviser to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, said she knows why.
"It's gravy to them," Sohn said. "You're already paying handsomely for the service. And now they're making you pay a second time."
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