Charter raises sneaky “broadcast TV” fee for second time in four months

Charter fee rose from $9 to $10 in November and will go up to $12 in March.

A Charter Spectrum service vehicle.

Enlarge / A Charter Spectrum vehicle. (credit: Charter)

Charter Communications will raise its "broadcast TV" fee from $9.95 to $11.99 on March 1, only four months after the previous fee increase.

Charter and other cable companies say they charge broadcast TV fees to recoup the cost of paying broadcasters for the right to retransmit their signals over cable systems. But Charter doesn't include the fee in its advertised rates, instead revealing the fee in the fine print, often giving customers bill shock when they learn that they have to pay more each month than expected.

Additionally, increases to the fee apply even to customers who agreed to deals that ostensibly lock in a specific monthly rate during a set period. In summary, Charter uses the broadcast TV fee to advertise lower rates than it actually charges and to raise prices on customers even before their promotional rates expire.

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Envious of 5G hype, cable cos. unveil potentially confusing “10G” trademark

But we’re still waiting for 1Gbps upload speeds.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Pasieka)

The cable industry has begun a marketing campaign for 10Gbps broadband services, even though cable companies haven't finished rolling out 1Gbps connections. The first 10Gbps cable broadband connections will be deployed in field trials starting in 2020, according to cable industry lobby group NCTA.

Following longstanding telecom industry traditions, the new marketing campaign for a technology that no one can use yet comes with a potentially confusing name: 10G.

Cable lobby group NCTA kicked off its campaign today with an announcement titled "Introducing 10G: The Next Great Leap for Broadband" alongside a new "10G" website. NCTA said it has trademarked "10G."

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