Why are Cable and Internet so Expensive?
Benefits Of Cable TV And Internet
Since the first dramatic spread of cable television twenty-five years ago, millions of people have successfully integrated cable television into their daily lives. From children to senior citizens, people of all ages enjoy the diverse programming options that cable companies offer. For many, cable TV is an indispensable tool for learning and relaxation. Though cable programs vary in quality, the best of these programs are wholesome, insightful diversions. People use cable news channels to learn about weather conditions and current events. Several networks provide numerous informative documentaries on wildlife, indigenous cultures and political issues. All in all, the rise of cable television has produced many benefits for ordinary people. Unfortunately, many middle-class citizens cannot afford to purchase cable television service. Troubling trends in the telecom industry are further entrenching inequities in cable TV access.
Over the course of the past decade, cable Internet has also achieved incredible saturation throughout the developed world. People use their home Internet connections to build relationships, stay informed and earn vital incomes. Unfortunately, cable television and Internet is needlessly expensive in many markets. In the United States, Internet costs are particularly high. Since 1995, the U.S cable fees have risen far faster than the overall U.S cost of living. Research firm SNL Kagan estimates that average cable bills nearly doubled between 2001 and 2011. Compared to citizens of other Western nations, Americans pay as much as four times more for their communications services. Even though they pay more, Americans make do with relatively slow Internet speeds.
The Real Costs Of Expensive Cable
In fairness, the causes of expensive cable services are plentiful and complex. However, it is undeniable that a lack of regulatory oversight contributes to high cable prices. To achieve unhindered dominance, telecom companies use their collective clout to influence national laws and regulations. As in other industries, cable companies utilize powerful lobbyists with connections in government. In turn, these lobbyists successfully push government officers to remove consumer safeguards. Though most telecom companies act within the confines of the law, a growing number of commentators are raising questions about the fairness of telecom practices.
Members of the public need to wake up to the importance of faster, more affordable Internet. Many economists and commentators believe that improved Internet choice can produce greater economic development. Even during global economic downturns, Internet-based industries perform quite well. Critically, these industries provide new employment pathways for workers pushed out of traditional professions.
It is regrettable that so many middle-class families currently lack Internet access. Lack of competition and high prices directly influence the state of modern education. Without home Internet access, students at middle schools and high schools have problems studying and achieving good grades. Internet is incredibly important for many different aspects of human development. Without Internet, many people cannot sign up for government benefit programs or seek work effectively.
Lack Of Access Hinders Development
According to conservative estimates, a third of all Americans lack access to high-speed Internet. Due to their geographic locations, these individuals cannot purchase broadband Internet at any price. This service gap acts as a bottleneck on development in rural areas that could serve as catalysts for national economic growth. Even more alarmingly, a third of all Americans are simply priced out of home Internet service. This disadvantaged group is comprised of the ordinary workers who most need technological aids for development. Ironically, the U.S government routinely pressures foreign governments to prioritize better Internet access.
Though the United States offers one particularly troubling case study, nations around the world face challenges due to lack of competition in communication networks. By and large, cable companies employ honest businesspeople with good intentions. Whatever their intentions, cable executives are driven by narrow profit motives. For the most part, cable companies can neither recognize or support society's need for affordable Internet. Without governmental intervention, the general public may never have adequate access to affordable cable TV and Internet service.
Creating Solutions For Expensive Cable And Internet
Some well-meaning people do not understand the ultimate importance of affordable cable services. As they work their ways through busy lives, these disinterested parties may not have much time to watch television or use the Internet. Nevertheless, all members of society feel the effects of price gouging in the telecom industry. Communications technologies are used for far more than socializing and entertainment. Ultimately, societies with affordable, efficient communications systems are more democratic and open to positive change. Populations that communicate are better able to work together towards positive goals.
Ordinary people need to take responsibility for altering the dynamics that contribute to high Internet prices. Cable companies often use monopolistic practices to stack the deck against consumers. People who rely on cable TV and Internet should support electoral candidates who will work to better regulate telecom firms.