Comcast being investigated in New Jersey for HD surcharges

New Jersey regulators are investigating a $9.95 HD charge Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has allegedly tacked onto skinny bundle services in several local markets. 

According to local news site Tap Into Sommerville, Comcast has added what it calls a "High Definition Technology Fee" to its $21.90-a-month "Limited Basic" video package, without including this cost in the promotion for the pay-TV service.

Further, the New Jersey State Board of Public Utilities alleges that Comcast implemented the fee without first running it past regulators. New Jersey is one of the few states that have rate regulation authority — operators are required to give the Board of Public Utilities a 30-day notice when their upping fees. 

Comcast didn't immediately respond to FierceCable's inquiry for comment. Although Comcast spokesperson Jennifer Bilotta told Tap Into Sommerville that the MSO is cooperating with the investigation.

Comcast said the surcharge is to provide consumers the equipment necessary to receive HD signals.

According to the Consumerist, however, fewer than half the channels in the Limited Basic bundle are high-def.

For more:
- read this Tap into Sommerville story
- read this Consumerist story

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