Several major internet service providers have announced rate hikes beginning in January 2018.
The providers increasing cable and internet costs next month include Cox, Comcast, Frontier and DirectTV, according to notifications from the companies posted by users on DSLReports.
For instance, Comcast has increased its rates for the same level of service across the board, including TV, internet and voice, as well as hardware rental fees, by around $1-$5 on average. The rate increases may also depend on location:
Cox is also increasing rates for TV, telephone and broadband effective January 7, 2018, resulting in an average increase of around $7-$9 for customers who utilize all three services. Broadband costs are increasing around $3-$4 depending on the specific package, according to a notification sent with a user’s monthly bill.
A notification from Frontier Communications said the company is adding a new $2 “internet infrastructure surcharge” to most of its internet accounts, including promotional deals. In addition to a $6 TV increase, one user said the internet surcharge saw his monthly bill increase by around $20 over the last year.
While many users on the DSLReports forums say the increases are in line with previous rate hikes — or that the providers have had their proposed increases programmed in for weeks — the news is certainly concerning, considering the Federal Communications Commission’s recent 3-2 vote to remove the Obama-era net neutrality regulations, which kept internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic and creating paid fast lanes for certain users or sites. In other words, these might not be the only changes to customer bills for long.
Rate hikes are one of the reasons many were opposed to the FCC vote to repeal the 2015 net neutrality regulations, along with the notion that providers could start charging for access to certain websites, where increases in one’s bill correlate to how much of the internet they have access to.