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Senators want the FCC to look into broadband pricing

Billy Steele
July 10, 2015
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The net neutrality rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission back in February permit it to examine cable and broadband pricing to ensure customers are treated fairly. Four Senators are urging Tom Wheeler and the FCC to do just that. The group, led by Senator (and Democratic presidential candidate) Bernie Sanders (I-VT), cites the limited options as a cause for price increases, asking for the FCC's help in "empowering Americans with more information." The effort looks to offer customers the details about rates and how their monthly bills are calculated by their service provider. In a letter sent by the group this week, the Senators use the example of Time Warner Cable increasing modem rental fees by 203 percent over a three-year period -- a change that customers may not have been aware of when their monthly bill went up.

"At the very least, Americans should be able to understand the price of the product they are buying and what their neighbors are paying for the same service," the letter explains. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN) and Edward Markey (D-MA) also signed the letter asking for the FCC to help determine the specifics on average cost per state, average cost by provider and the average costs for service in both urban and rural areas. The letter only asks for the commission to help gather info, not to take any action against cable and internet companies, so we'll have to see what happens when and if they get what they're after.

[Image credit: Brittany Greeson/The Washington Post via Getty Images]

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