Tell Us and the FCC: What Are Your #TrueCableCosts?

Let's be honest. Most people are less than thrilled over their staggering monthly cable bills. Right now, cable box rentals -- you know, that fee you pay to access the cable content you're already paying for on a clunky device you never own -- average $231 per household per year. That's $20 billion going to Big Cable on set-box rentals alone, and that's just plain nuts.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission wanted to change that rental model, opening up the video device marketplace so consumers can use cool new devices, such as an Apple TV or Roku, to view their cable content instead of paying over and over again to rent an outdated box with a complicated user-interface that’s a pain to use. In fact, President Obama and many members of Congress have come out in support of the FCC's proposal.

But Big Cable doesn’t want to let go of their control over the video marketplace, and they’re using all sorts of tactics to distract from the real issue. The FCC’s proposal would reduce the price-gouging we all face at the hands of our cable providers.

How much do you really pay Big Cable for your set-top box? How much would you save per month if you could #UnlockTheBox? And what would you do with the money you saved per year?

Let us know! Tweet a photo of your cable bill, or let us know your set-top box fee, using the hashtags #UnlockTheBox and #TrueCableCosts. (If you don't use Twitter, you can share it on Facebook with the same hashtags, or email your story to meredith@publicknowledge.org!)

Tell us what you could do with the money you saved over time. (And keep in mind that those fees are often disguised on your bill under terms like “converter” and “adapter.”)


When it comes to the FCC's decision to open up the video marketplace and save consumers billions of dollars in the process, every voice counts!

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