Published February 2016

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!

It doesn’t have to be this way. In the previous administration, the Federal Communications Commission wanted to change that rental model, opening up the video device marketplace to new devices, so consumers wouldn’t be forced to overpay each month for outdated boxes. This grew into a campaign called #UnlockTheBox, and goal was simple: more competition in the marketplace, and more choices for consumers.

But the new Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, supports monopoly interests over consumer protections, and Big Cable doesn’t want to let go of their control over the video marketplace. We’re tired of rip-offs and price-gouging we all face at the hands of our cable providers. The delay tactics for #UnlockTheBox alone have cost consumers millions of dollars. 

How much do you really pay Big Cable for your set-top box? (Keep in mind that set-top box fees are often disguised on your bill under terms like “converter” and “adapter.”) How much would you save per month if you could #UnlockTheBox? And what would you do with the money you saved per year?

And what about all those other hidden fees? What is your full annual payment to your cable company? Have your rates increased over time? 

Let us know!Share a photo of your cable bill, or let us know how much you are paying. You can email us at or share on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #TrueCableCosts.

Tell us what you could do with the money you saved over time. As always, we will keep your information private and anonymous! 

$10 a month for a slow, crummy @XFINITY box. I’d save $120 a year if @FCC were to #UnlockTheBox #TrueCableCosts

— John Gasparini (@jgaspariniPK) February 23, 2016

Every voice counts in our fight for fairness for Americans!