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TN: Paying Holiday Bills Just Got Harder Thanks to Cable Company Rate Increase

By saveaccess
Created 12/04/2007 - 12:49pm

Note: TV4US is an astroturf organization paid for by the telephone companies. What they fail to mention in this press release is that Verizon just announced a 11.5% rate increase on their cable TV services (on top of a 7.5% increase earlier in 2007). There is currently no evidence in any state that competition in cable TV services has resulted in lower prices. In Tennessee, AT&T is currently trying to ram through a state video franchise for the second time.

from: Earth Times [1]

Paying Holiday Bills Just Got Harder Thanks to Cable Company Rate Increase
Posted : Mon, 03 Dec 2007 20:42:09 GMT
Author : TV4US

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tennesseans will get a disappointing surprise with their holiday cards this month -- notice of a cable rate increase that will take effect on January 1, 2008. Cable rates are expected to go up by about 5% across Tennessee.

Comcast, Tennessee's largest cable provider, is raising rates by about 5% this year. This on the heels of huge rate increases over the past seven years. Their rates for standard/full basic cable have increased nearly 60% in Chattanooga since 2000, almost 53% in Knoxville and 40% in Nashville since 2001. This comes at a time when consumers are feeling the pinch of higher gas prices, higher health care costs and an unstable housing market.

"Tis not the season to learn about higher monthly bills, just when consumers are trying to pay off holiday bills," said Lizanne Sadlier, Executive Director of TV4US. "Because there is no real competition to cable in Tennessee, there is nothing to stop the continuing cable rate trajectory."

The Federal Communications Commission ( found that cable rates rose an astonishing 93% from 1995 to 2005, while the consumer price index increased less than 25% during the same period.

Earlier this year, the Tennessee General Assembly was unable to pass the Competitive Cable and Video Services Act, which would have brought real cable competition to Tennessee. The one year delay in video franchise reform was estimated to cost Tennessee consumers $177 million, according to a 2006 study ( by the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies.

"Tennesseans have been left behind and are feeling the effects of a lack of real cable competition," said Sadlier. "While surrounding states are seeing their rates go down, their video service technology improve and their programming choices increase, Tennesseans are getting hit hard by another increase at a terrible time of the year."

Seventeen states across the nation have passed video reform legislation in the past two years and are beginning to reap the benefits of competition -- cost savings, technological advances, better customer service and increased investment in their states. A survey by Bank of America Equity Research in 2006 found that in areas where cable companies have to compete, prices for video service are between 28 percent and 42 percent lower than they are in areas without competition.

TV4US will continue to work with consumers to advocate for passage of video reform legislation when the General Assembly returns in January.

TV4US Tennessee is an affiliate of TV4US. TV4US is a non-profit grassroots coalition made up of a diversified group of corporations, non-profit and non-governmental organizations -- representing hundreds of thousands of consumers across the country advocating for competition in the video service market.


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