The pros and cons of buying your own modem

xfinity modem router

a DOCSIS 3.0 modem router gateway

If you have internet service in York County, odds are, Comcast is your provider.

And if you have Comcast, you have a choice: to rent Comcast’s modem and router, or to buy your own.

By default, Comcast gives new internet customers one of their devices: a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a wifi router built into it. As of August, 2014, Comcast charges customers $8 a month to rent this modem/router.

The other option is to buy your own modem/router, which as of August costs a bit over $100 new at retailers like Walmart, Best Buy or online at sites such as Amazon.

Renting Comcast’s device or buying your own each come with costs and benefits. Eight dollars a month for a rental adds up to $96 a year, $192 for two years and $480 for five years. On the other hand, renting a device leaves users off the hook when things go wrong and on the hook for free upgrades.


Bob Grove, a Comcast spokesman, said that one advantage of renting their modem/router devices is that Comcast will replace and service the devices for free if they go bad.

In addition, Grove said Comcast is better equipped to troubleshoot its own devices.

“Our Care agents have tools that can check the modem’s signal and connection history to see what might be going on, or they can do tests/diagnostics over the phone,” Grove said in an email.

Grove said that Comcast customer service would try to troubleshoot a customer-owned device, but may not be able to diagnose the problem or restore service.

Also, Grove pointed out that Comcast replaces their leased modems every few years so that customers always have the most recent technology.


For those who would rather buy a router, Ben Markey, a sales consultant at Best Buy at 2865 Concord Rd., Springettsbury Township, recommended two devices, both of which are on Comcast’s list of approved DOCSIS devices on their website.

The one device, a Zoom cable modem/router, listed at Bestbuy for $99 as of August, 2014. The other device is a Motorola SURFBoard modem/router, retailing for $135 in August.

Each device comes with a one-year warranty. In addition, Markey said customers can pay $20 to add an additional year of warranty coverage.

Markey said that, currently, “All the gateways are technically the same,” though he said that, when dealing with internet hardware, it’s always a matter of time before any device becomes obsolete.

What about you? Do you rent a modem and router, or did you buy your own? What led you to your decision?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

York Water Co. continues dividend-paying streak


At a time when many investors are looking to dividend-paying stocks to goose up the yield on their portfolios, York Water Co. announced it will pay its 575th consecutive dividend in October.
The company will pay a quarterly dividend of 14.3 cents a share on Oct. 15 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 30.
The investor-owned utility has paid a dividend since 1816, a streak of 199 consecutive years. The company says it believes it has the longest streak of consecutive dividends in the U.S.
Earlier this month, York Water Co. announced that its profit for the second quarter rose 17 percent.



Posted in City of York, Your money | Leave a comment

Leg Up Farm to include farmers market as part of Manchester Township project


Leg Up Farm plans to build a market to sell locally grown fruits and vegetables and other items as part of its plans for a 23-acre site it owns in Manchester Township.

The Mount Wolf-based nonprofit is turning the site, once occupied by Shiloh Nurseries, into an occupational training center for special-needs adults and high school students.

Leg Up already announced plans to renovate a 6,000-square-foot greenhouse on the property, where participants in its occupational training program would raise organic vegetables.

The latest development calls for a 20,000-square-foot farmers market building which Leg Up expects to complete by October, 2015, said Louie Castriota Jr., Leg Up’s CEO and founder.

Castriota’s vision is for what he calls a “full-service, natural foods grocery store,” including locally raised beef, a selection of gluten-free foods and a salad bar with organic vegetables.

The market will create about 30 jobs, Castriota said. The $3.2 million building is being financed through loans from Metro Bank and the Community First Fund, a  Southcentral Pennsylvania community development lender.

Construction on the market building is expected to start in February 2015. Wagman Construction is the general contractor.





Posted in Farm, Food, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tour highlights historic downtown law offices

If you’re a York County history buff, here’s a unique tour that might interest you.

Downtown Inc. and the York County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section are sponsoring a walking tour this Friday evening of law offices housed in historic buildings in downtown York.

The two-and-a-half hour tour includes stops on East Market Street at Trinity Law and the Law Office of Christopher A. Ferro and a visit to Richard Reilly’s law office on North Duke Street.

J. Ross McGinnis, who is of counsel to law firm Stock and Leader, will lead the tour. It starts at 6 p. m. at the York County Bar Association headquarters, 137 E. Market St. The fee is $12. Online registration is available on Downtown Inc.’s Facebook page.

People can also sign up at the event.

For more information contact Douglas Knight at Downtown Inc. at 849-2331.


Posted in City of York, Gary Haber, local business | Tagged | Leave a comment

Brew Vino targeting mid-August opening

Brew Vino is aiming to open by mid-August.

That’s the word from Gregory Bower, one of the owners of the gourmet pizza restaurant at 251 N. George St., near Santander Stadium in downtown York.

Workers are hard at work on the restaurant space. The plan is to host a few “soft opening” events for select groups before opening the restaurant to the general public, Bower said. Consider them the restaurant world’s equivalent of a dress rehearsal before the opening of a Broadway play.

“We want to be fully prepared before we open,” Bower said.

A mid-August opening would be in time to catch the crowds for the remaining York Revolution games this season. The team’s final regular season home game is Sept. 14.

But in a stroke of good luck for Brew Vino, the Revs clinched the Atlantic League’s first-half Freedom Division title. That means the Revs will host at least one home game, and as many as three, from Sept. 26 through Sept. 28 if the first round of the playoffs goes the full five games

And the Revs would have even more home games if the team advances to the Championship Series to be held Oct. 1-5.

The folks at Brew Vino plan to be ready for all those hungry fans.

In addition to gourmet pizzas, the menu will include salads, craft beers and wine. The 10 beer taps at the bar will feature eight craft brews and two domestic beers, Bower said.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Speaking of free food…

Chick-fil-A isn’t the only restaurant giving away free food.

Baron Von Schwein will be giving out a coupon for a free pork bun to the first 300 customers who show up at 11 a.m. Monday (July 14) for the grand opening of the restaurant at 35 W. Market St. in downtown York.

The restaurant opens on Saturday (July 12), according to its website.

Baron Von Schwein is adding a brick-and-mortar location to its popular food truck. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, check out Baron Von Schwein’s website, and Facebook page


Posted in Food, Free Stuff, Gary Haber | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Want free Chick-fil-A?

Chick-fil-A is giving free food on Friday to people who come to their restaurants dressed as cows.  Photo Submitted

Chick-fil-A is giving free food on Friday to people who come to their restaurants dressed as cows.
Photo Submitted


If you’re a Chick-fil-A fan, you probably already know this but Friday (July 11) is the fast food chain’s 10th annual Cow Appreciation Day.

Come into any Chick-fil-A location nationwide tomorrow fully dressed as a cow and you’ll get a free complete meal — entree, side item and drink. If you’re not willing to go the full bovine route, sporting any cow-related attire will get you a free entree.

Locally, the folks at the Chick-fil-A at 2801 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township plan on going all out. Chick-fil-A’s cow mascot will be on hand for photos. Football players and cheerleaders from Red Lion Area Senior High School will be at the restaurant as will cheerleaders from Eastern York High School, said Susan Burd, the restaurant’s marketing director.

Last year, more than 900,000 Chick-fil-A customers nationwide dressed up. The company expects that number to top 1 million this year.

For more information, check out



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

High gas prices crimping your budget?

Hi, readers of the York Common Cents blog.

I’m working on a business story about how continuing high gas prices are leaving people with less money to spend on other things, like dining out, shopping and vacations.

I’m looking to talk to York County folks who are cutting back on their spending because of the high gas prices. I’m thinking the folks most affected are those with long commutes to work and retirees on a fixed income. But I’m looking to talk with anyone for whom this is a concern.

Please email me at, or call me at 771-2029 by Tuesday afternoon. Thanks for your help.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CoWork155 to hold its next set of SkillSwap classes Aug. 11-16

Last month, I wrote about CoWork155 in downtown York launching a series of one-night, hands-on courses on things like how to make a pizza or sew a quilt.

The inaugural program was such a hit, organizers are bringing SkillSwap back for another round of classes Aug. 11-Aug. 16. This time, the offerings include classes on bicycle safety, event planning and how to mix the perfect cocktail. Check out CoWork’s155 website for the complete list and to register.

The classes are open to the public.

The unique thing about SkillSwap is that instead of paying an admission fee, participants exchange a good or service from a list of items the instructor said he or she is willing to accept. The swaps that instructors are seeking this time include a bouquet of wild flowers, a six-pack of beer and learning how juggle.


Posted in City of York, Do it yourself, Education, Entertainment, Gary Haber, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Arts have a large economic impact in York County


I had a chance last Friday (June 27) to attend some of the sessions at the first-ever Impact Arts & Culture Conference at York College. The event, organized by the Cultural Alliance of York County and York College, draw a crowd of about 140 people. The attendees were not just from York, but came from Lancaster and beyond.

One of the sessions I attended was on the economic impact of the arts in the southcentral Pennsylvania region.  The numbers are impressive.

In the Greater Harrisburg area, including York, more than $54.4 million was spent by nonprofit arts and culture groups and their audiences in fiscal year 2010, according to a study by Americans for the Arts, a Washington, D.C.-based organization.

A separate study shows that in York County alone, 3,778 people work in 771 businesses in what are called “the creative industries.”

The employment figure includes artists, actors and musicians and people who work behind the scenes for nonprofits like museums and theaters. The number also includes folks who work for for-profit, creative businesses like advertising, architecture and design firms.

Hannah Jacobson, research director for Americans for the Arts, told the audience that cultural tourism is a growing trend.  Tourists are traveling to destinations where they can browse art galleries, catch a live theater performance or attend a concert. Those visitors spend money when they come to town staying in hotels, eating in restaurants and shopping.

“People are interested in authentic experiences, and the arts and culture are such a big part of showing what our communities are about,” Jacobson said.




Posted in City of York, Economic Development, Gary Haber, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment