We in WNC are captive to a single cable-television provider: Charter. On its Web site, Charter lists only their high-priced bundle. Customers have to ask specifically for the low-priced basic cable contract, which is not described. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the channels we’d most like to watch.
According to the May issue of Consumer Reports, “rates have spiked 122 percent since 1995, the Federal Communications Commission noted recently. That’s three times the rate of inflation.” They also note that when more than one cable operator is available, “rates were consistently some 10 percent lower.”
Consumers Union supports a la carte pricing, which would allow customers to choose their own assortment of cable-TV channels and pay only for what they want—as is already done by some cable providers in Canada. I agree with CU that: “In the absence of competition among providers, the best that policy makers can do is press cable companies to justify their pricing and to let consumers choose their channels.”
We urge your readers to contact their state legislators and U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, to urge their support for a la carte pricing of TV channels by cable companies.
— Paula Robbins