Outlook For Cable Rates
March 31, 1999
The federal government is dropping controls on cable TV rates tomorrow. The prospect is that cable rates won't soar.
- Four of the six largest cable systems plan only small price hikes this year -- with none being more than 5 percent.
- Some consumers will even see their rates fall -- partly due to the increased competition cable companies face from direct broadcast satellite systems.
- Experts contend that regulations did not hold down cable rates -- in fact, when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 ordered that price controls end in three years, prices surged 24 percent.
- Observers say that if Congress wants to promote competition and hold down rates, it should stop local governments from awarding monopoly franchises to cable companies.
Source: Editorial, "Half Right About Cable TV," Investor's Business Daily, March 31, 1999.
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