Senators urge FCC to investigate “ridiculous prices” for cable and broadband services

FCC Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders

In a letter addressed to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and three of his colleagues -- Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) -- have sought the agency’s investigation into “ridiculous prices” for cable TV and broadband services.

The Senators have urged the FCC to collect information on the amount paid by consumers, on average, for cable TV and broadband service; state-wise and operator-wise. In addition, they also want the agency to pull together averages for urban as well as rural Americans.

Drawing attention to the “increasing concentration” in the cable and broadband industry, the Senators have said in their letter that “there are now de facto telecommunications monopolies throughout the United States.” To elaborate their point, the Senators said that the option of more than one high-speed broadband providers is presently available to only 37 percent Americans.

Further adding that there is an apparent lack of incentive for cable and broadband companies to provide better quality service and competitive prices, the Senators said in their letter that, given the present scenario, it is hardly surprising that “individuals rank cable and Internet providers last in customer satisfaction when compared to other companies in other industries.”

Urging the FCC to look into the "ridiculous" price of cable TV and broadband fees, the Senators said: "The Commission's collection of pricing information is critical to upholding its mission to protect consumers, and promote competition, and deploy broadband across America."

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