Readers at the tech news site DSL Reports have spotted fee increase notices for the new year from Dish, AT&T/DirecTV, and Time Warner Cable in the last week, and nobody would be surprised to find other cable companies following suit.
DirecTV and AT&T’s Uverse, now part of the same company, both announced rate hikes last week. The price increases aren’t the same for every customer, but different base packages, channel bundles, and premium channels will see increases ranging from $2 to $8 per month. AT&T voice customers may also see their bills go up by $2, and the “broadcast TV surcharge” is heading up by $1 across the board. Although the individual increases aren’t large, when you put it all together consumers could easily see an extra $10-$20 per month appear on their bills beginning January 28.
Dish Network is going the same route, increasing the pricing on its bundles from between $2 and $8 per month beginning on January 14.
TWC, though, is going all out. Not only will they be bumping the cost of TV channel bundles and premium channels, but also they will be increasing the rates for broadband services and cable modem rentals. TWC customers will see their broadcast TV fee increase by $1 and their cable modem rental price go up by $2, along with hikes for prices of digital adapters, remote controls, DVRs, and DVR service.
The worst part is, there’s really not much consumers can do about it. Satellite pay-TV customers in theory can switch between companies fairly readily, but both the major players are raising rates by the same amount. And Time Warner Cable’s customers are pretty universally stuck without competition at all.