FCC Clears Cable Companies to Raise Prices
The Federal Communications Commission is a government organization that is tasked with protecting the well being of the American people and to regulate pretty much every form of communication, Including Cable and Satellite Television. One of their jobs is to protect consumers from predatory companies looking gouge the American consumer for services like Cell Phone service, Cable Television and Radio Communication.
The Cable Protection Act was enacted by congress in 1992. One of the regulations in the act was to allow states and municipalities to put caps on pricing for cable companies if they were the only provider available. Once a second provider was available in that area both companies can file a petition to remove the price caps and are free to freely raise their prices.
While in many areas across the country this process has already happened and cable companies are free to raise their prices at a whim, there are still many areas of the country where there is only one provider and the prices are capped.
Charter / Spectrum operates as the only carrier in many areas of Massachusetts and Hawaii, but they filed a petition to have their prices uncapped with the FCC. So, they are not happy enough having 100% market share and also want to be able to raise prices in areas where they have a monopoly.
But surely the FCC would reject this petition as they are the only cable provider in the area and enjoy a monopoly, right? In a statement the FCC said “an online streaming service option with comparable programming is available from an LEC affiliate (Another Provider) in the franchise area.” So, who is this mystery provider that has crept into Charters monopoly, a streaming service!
Charter made the case to the FCC that because AT&T TV NOW’s streaming service offered comparable programming and also offered internet service that they are now considered a cable company. On October 25th the FCC approved both petitions from Charter and their prices will soon become uncapped. Did we mention that Charter explicitly stated that if their petitions were approved, they would be raising prices? Shocker!
The State of Hawaii stated that “Charter’s acknowledgement of the immediate, substantial rate increases that deregulation would produce makes clear that DIRECTV NOW (later rebranded as AT&T TV Now) does not provide any competitive check on Charter’s rates,”
Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts issued a statement saying “In considering non-cable offerings in this context, the Commission would effectively authorize analysis of “over-the-top” online video services in effective competition proceedings. While the marketplace for video content has shifted considerably in recent years, your obligation to work in the best interest of the public remains today. The FCC paved the way for a powerful cable company to increase its prices without regard to the impact on consumers.”
We find it sad that the FCC made a decision to allow cable companies to raise prices while still basically having a monopoly knowing that their intent was to raise prices on American consumers. We are not surprised by this at all for a few reasons. The Cable companies have deep pockets, lots of lobbyists and have worked closely with the FCC since their creation.
Charters flawed thinking that the FCC agreed with is that now that they have to be more competitive, they need to be able to raise prices. We all know that competition as all about being more expensive than the other guy. Everyone knows that being the most expensive makes you more prestigious and desired like a designer purse 😊
If you think this is the end of the story, you would be sorely mistaken. Now that the FCC has basically deemed a streaming service as a cable company it has set a legal precedent. In any other market where AT&T or another streaming service that offers live channels exists is another opportunity for a new petition. And seeing they already won two of them, they are likely to win the rest.
We have written articles for over 7 years showing that the cards are stacked against you and that cable companies will do everything in their power to continue you raise it’s prices. We have urged people to stop feeding this greedy dinosaur and to cut the cord. Sadly, Charter still has 26 million customers who are scratching their heads when they get a higher cable bill, but not taking action to stop the vicious cycle. What number will you have to see on your next cable bill before you take action? $200, $250, $300, $400?
There are so many great options to watch live TV at a lower price, it is almost a crime to overpay for TV. By using our SkyStream Three Plus Streaming Media Player you can subscribe to services like Hulu, Sling TV, Fubo TV, Philo TV and Pluto TV (Free).
Not only that, you can combine these Live TV services with our Cord Cutting Package that includes an American made HD Antenna to watch all of your local channels in HD, including ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, The CW and PBS.
Our SkyStream Three Plus TV Box along with paying less for live TV, will pay for themselves in months and after that you will be saving money each and every month that you could be putting towards a vacation, new car, new house, etc.
We know it may sound scary to change to streaming, but if you can use a phone and navigate apps you can cut the cord and save money. Take action today and stop putting it off!