America’s Communications Prices Are Buckets of Overcharging that Need to be Halted.

Bruce Kushnick
3 min readDec 2, 2023

Let’s start with just one major rip off– Made up, added fees are for more profits to the companies. And they need to be removed. Period.

The NYC Spectrum-Charter Triple Play is about $225.00 a month, and this is a basic plan; no movies or DVR, etc. It has a Broadcast & Sports fee, a made up, additional charge of now $27.90, a separate line item on every cable bill. Is this bogus, ‘junk fee’, ‘just and reasonably’ priced? Not.

The fee is NOT mandated by the government. Regardless of the hype, this is direct revenues to the cable and phone companies –with no audits, no investigations, and no serious government oversight.
There is a hidden secret: Considered ‘revenue’ to the companies, it is hit with quadruple taxes and surcharges — i.e. a series of taxes are on this made up fee. Worse, other junk fees are applied, which are then taxed again.
This adds about 20% more or an additional $5.50, estimated– $33.50 total.

While it varies by company and state, America cable customers are being charged over $350 a year for this one bogus charge; And this comes to over $2 billion a month, almost $20–30 billion extra — for this one made up fee. (each state and cable and telephone company has similar prices for this fee. )

Worse, as the chart shows, it has continually gone up over 1140% since it first showed up at $2.25 a month in 2014.

Let’s be very clear.
=These charges are the price of doing business, and the cable companies’ expense; it is not an extra charge.
=There are no audits to prove that this fee is valid, regardless of the made up fiction that the companies tell us.
=Not part of the advertised price.
=There is nothing on the websites that supply the basic calculations of how the taxes, fees and surcharges are being applied.

The final kicker -Over 20 million low income households are now receiving ACP vouchers of up to $30 to fund their broadband-internet as it is clear that prices are not ‘affordable’. However, the customer still has to pay the difference — against a retail rate that can include garbage fees, like cost recovery.

Wait– This one junk charge is over $30 counting the taxes –and the triple play includes broadband and internet and voice and households take it to get the bundled prices.

What- Aren’t the cable companies some of the largest recipients of this ACP money and the new $40 billion BEAD gov subsidies… and

Part 2: Overseas Letter Reveals How America is being Gouged on Broadband.
Next up. A letter from a senior couple in France, shows they are paying 29.99 Euros (1 Euro is currently $1.09 Dollars) for a fiber optic 5 Gig speed service, which comes with two 5G unlimited services at 9.99 Euros each. And there are NO ADDED FEES, and these are truly ‘unlimited’; Not the American-definition– “We were just kidding.”

This is part of our filing with the FTC, who has put forward rules to remove hidden fees,

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Bruce Kushnick

New Networks Institute,Executive Director, & Founding Member, IRREGULATORS; Telecom analyst for 40 years, and I have been playing the piano for 65 years.