Cable and internet companies are pushing the limits of technology, pushing their customers to buy the latest gadgets, and charging huge prices for the privilege.
But even that is becoming harder, experts say.
“I think people are finally realizing that there is no longer an affordable alternative to having a cable subscription,” said Adam Hirsch, an analyst with investment bank Morgan Stanley.
“You can’t have a cable-only plan and be able to use that same cord to connect to the internet.
You have to pay more for the internet.”
Internet companies, including Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are aggressively expanding their cable offerings to customers.
But as they ramp up their offerings, they’re also becoming increasingly aggressive in charging customers more for data, which can add up to tens of dollars per month, experts said.
“The internet companies have been able to say that you need an internet connection to get an internet service,” said Brian Kelly, the CEO of data and analytics firm Insights West.
“But now you can get an unlimited internet plan and you’re paying for more data than you would have with a traditional cable plan.”
For consumers, the price tag has become increasingly steep.
Comcast has been charging customers between $130 and $175 per month for internet access, while Time Warner has charged customers between around $100 and $200.
It also costs a lot to get online, with a typical cable subscription costing about $75 a month.
But with new technologies, the costs of going online are plummeting.
A recent study from the Consumer Technology Association found that while Internet subscriptions dropped 13% in 2014, the average monthly bill for the average American is down 7% since then.
At the same time, the cost of using data is on the rise.
The average monthly data usage per household rose from 5.4GB in 2013 to 7.6GB in 2016, according to the latest data from the Federal Communications Commission.
The costs of streaming video and music are also soaring.
The FCC has warned that internet providers are charging consumers for “unlimited” access to streaming services, while other providers have warned that consumers will end up paying for their data usage if they don’t want to pay for it.
Many internet service providers are trying to address the rising costs of data by bundling the costs together with a higher monthly price for the basic service, which includes access to the web and a basic set of features like email and instant messaging.
But critics are concerned that this strategy may be too costly.
But for consumers who want to do everything they can to keep their internet bill down, they have a more expensive option: cable TV. “
If you need a little bit of streaming, it might be better to get the full Netflix package for $45 a month.”
But for consumers who want to do everything they can to keep their internet bill down, they have a more expensive option: cable TV.
A recent report from MoffettNathanson found that more than a quarter of U.S. households have used internet services for less than a year, and nearly half have done so less than once a month for the last five years.
So while the costs for data and internet are rising, the companies are also offering discounts to customers that are more enticing.
For instance, Comcast will give customers a 50% discount if they pay $75 for their monthly internet service, or a 50.5% discount on data plans.
And while the companies have long touted their broadband offerings as offering more speeds than traditional cable, recent data shows that that’s not always the case.
As consumers use more of their Internet connections to access services like Netflix and YouTube, they are also paying more for that service.
Netflix has found that it can make money by bundlling up the cost for its streaming video services with its cable and internet services, as well as a monthly price that’s more than double the price of its own offerings.
For example, a subscription to Netflix is $9.99 a month with a $60 price point.
Comcast’s plan is $69.99 with a discount of 50% for $90 a month and a $20 discount for $60 a month without a TV package.
AT&T and Verizon have plans that are much more generous, offering $40 a month discount for internet and TV.
Other internet providers also offer discounts for those who don’t have their own internet or TV service.
And some companies offer a special offer for those with smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.
But there’s little data on whether those discounts are more generous or more costly.