Time Warner Cable said on Tuesday it will begin charging Internet customers an Internet modem lease fee of $3.95 a month across New England, New York and the Carolinas.

The company was going to send notification to customers this week. The new fee will begin Nov. 1.

As of June 30, Time Warner Cable had amost 10.8 million residential high-speed Internet customers. Customers spend about $54.99 a month for standard Internet, the company said.

Customers have a choice. They can contine to lease their modem from Time Warner Cable and pay the monthly fee, or they can purchase a modem from a retailer to avoid the fee. A list of approved retail modems is available at www.twc.com/approvedmodems. Prices ranged from $54.99 to $133.59 on Amazon.com, though modems are available at other retailers.

Time Warner Cable said it has been charging an equipment lease fee for set-top boxes for many years. Meanwhile, other cable operators, such as Comcast Corp., charge modem-rental fees. Comcast charges about $7 a month.

Time Warner said the new lease fee for Internet modems “will allow us to continually service the equipment and further enhance our Internet services, ensuring the best customer experience with our products,” Time Warner Cable said.

The company said it planned no other price adjustments at this time.



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