Cellphone, Telephone, And Cable Costs Versus Inflation '96-'05

We made a graph comparing the rate of change in price of cable, telephone, and wireless service to inflation rate from 1996-2005.

We expected cable to be far worse, but it’s really wireless whose cost grew at the fastest relative rate . Wonder why this is.

Does it reflect the cost of upgrading and expanding cellphone networks, while the infrastructure for cable and telephones has remained much the same? Or is it simply the price elasticity of demand (more popular = able to charge more)? — BEN POPKEN AND THOMAS MOORE

Raw Data (updated)
Cable Pricing (PDF) [FCC]
Telephone and Wireless Pricing (PDF) [FCC]
Inflation Calculator [Bureau of Labor Statistics]