Cable Companies Will Raise Set-Top Box Rates, Blaming Costs Incurred From FCC Forcing Them To Finally Comply With 11-Year-Old Law

Cable companies are using the government’s forcing them to ship new cable boxes with detachable cable cards as an excuse to raise rates on old set-top boxes, AP reports.

The FCC cable card requirement “amounts to an FCC tax of hundreds of millions of dollars on consumers,” Comcast said in a statement.

Time Warner Cable Inc. spokesman Alex Dudley said the company agrees with the cable industry’s stance that the FCC cable card rule is a “tax” on consumers.

“It’s guaranteed,” said Ross Lieberman, vice president of government affairs for the trade group. “We can’t absorb this cost. This rate will be passed along to consumers.”

…Rob Stoddard, a spokesman for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association in Washington. “There’s nothing in these decisions to stave off a $600 million set-top box tax likely to affect the great majority of cable customers while providing no benefit to consumers.”

The feddy gov has been trying to get cable companies to comply with more open cable box system since the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Expect rate hikes in January, with an announcement in December.

Cable operators to raise set-top box rates [AP via Consumer World Blog]
(Photo: AP)