Dishh, DirecTV/AT&T, Time Warner Cable All Raising Rates In January [telecom]

Happy New Year: Dish, DirecTV/AT&T, Time Warner Cable All Raising Rates In January - Because They Can

For a bunch of the big cable and satellite companies, it does indeed look like a very merry Christmas and a happy new year are on the horizon 0 but consumers can be forgiven for feeling a lot more grinchy about it. That's because all the new nickels, dimes, and dollars that are going to line businesses' big virtual pockets are coming directly from subscribers in the form of unasked-for price hikes.

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.

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Bill Horne
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January - Because They Can

Well of course it's all the fault of the retail vendors -- i.e., the MVPDs. With no mention of the role of the wholesalers -- the programmers that produce the programs and set the wholesale prices. Or the role of the licensees of broadcast stations that dictate retransmission-consent fees.

And no mention of the fact the federal law allows the programmers and the broadcasters to charge whatever the market will bear.

And no mention of the federal law that makes this situation possible -- the grotesquely misnamed "Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992."

And no mention of the fact the Congress apparently has no interest in doing anything about the situation -- in spite of the fact that at least three bills have been introduced in Congress in the past few years.

- The FANS Act (Furthering Access and Networks for Sports). Originally introduced in 2013 by Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY26); recently reintroduced by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

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- "Video CHOICE" (Consumers Have Options in Choosing Entertainment) Act. Introduced December 2013 by Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA18).

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- "Local Choice" Act introduced by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD).

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Neal McLain

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