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In the 80s TVs were expensive when their cost was compared to an hourly wage. The people make TVs know if their box has a higher than average failure rate, that condition will be observed and published - not exactly good for business. So even the less expensive TV models are important to survival.

Today when cable modems cost $40 to $60 it is easy to see folks saving on cost. Since there are really no minimum standards it is really easy to lower such a product's cost.

When I got my first cable modem they were closer in cost to $100 - about the same price I paid for that screaming fast 9600 baud phone line modem I got in the early 90s.
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