Comcast Raises Prices on Hillsboro Residents
March 12, 2019 – Residents of the city of Hillsboro, Oregon are reporting an unusual increase in their monthly Comcast internet bills. A line item labeled City License Fees under Other Charges is behind the 7% hike in residential Xfinity internet bills. The community of Hillsboro expressed both astonishment and concern at this ambiguous line item. Residents want clarity on the subject in the face of confusion. Some insist the company blames the city government. Others maintain the city government points right back at “a national internet company”. The situation seems rife with uncertainty over the reasons behind the inclusion of this new line item in residential bills.
In December 2018, the city government passed a resolution (Resolution 2612) that may be at the root of the current situation. This resolution doubled the utility fees for access to the city’s right-of-way infrastructure. Right-of-way infrastructure includes roads, sidewalks and the spaces between roads and sidewalks. Countless companies pay for access to any metropolitan areas right-of-way, and it’s no different in Hillsboro. An interesting point to note is that the fee, which originally stood at 3.5% is now 7%. This is the exact percentage of the price hike reported by customers using Comcast Double Play deals in the community.
The resolution itself passed after a rare 4-2 split decisions. City officials backing the increased fee maintained that the increase was in line with other nearby cities. Officials against the increase were of the opinion service providers didn’t get enough time to prepare for the hike. Councilors Anthony Martin, Kyle Allen, Olivia Alcaire and Darell Lumaco voted in favor of the increase. Councilors Rick Van Beveren and Fred Nachtigal voted against. Reportedly, representatives from the internet provider expressed their concerns at the public hearing. But to no avail.
Many believe the price hike in residential bills is simply the provider passing on the cost to residential customers. The change applies to single play, double play as well as Xfinity Triple Play customers in the area. However, some are not so convinced. A popular news blog points out the right-of-way fee isn’t entirely new. The provider was already paying 3.5% without passing on the costs to customers. It was only after the increase that the new line item appeared on residential bills. News & Notices on the municipal government’s site may shed some light. It blandly states that “Companies can charge customers a line item for other costs of doing business, such as:
- Paper towels
- Business license fees
- Corporate Taxes
Decisions on charging customers for these and other costs of doing business are up to the company.” In simple terms, the decision to increase prices rests solely with the company. In the absence of a statement from Comcast, the matter still involves a lot of speculation. Stay tuned for more updates as facts emerge.
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