In my 7th year as a Culver City homeowner, I am grateful for the city’s greenery and friendly neighbors but there is one problem that persists and is worsening— the cost of high-speed internet.
My Spectrum internet bill has increased from $35/month in 2016 to $70/month in 2021. And in a few more months, when yet another promotional offer ends, the bill will be $75/month.
In the past 7 years, my internet bill increased over 100% despite not wanting more than a basic high-speed internet plan.
When Spectrum was Time Warner Cable, my bill increased after the initial 12 months “sign-on” promotional offer ended. I accepted this when I signed up for the service.
But since 2016, Spectrum has deceptively increased the bill by $5-10/each year. When I called for an explanation, Spectrum said, “We no longer offer your basic internet plan so you have to upgrade to the next tier.” Spectrum pushed me from my original 50Mbps speed to 100Mbps and then, most recently, to 200Mbps.
The 200Mbps plan, according to the Spectrum representative, is meant for a family of 4-6 people such that they can watch Netflix, surf the internet, and check Instagram at the same time. For smaller households, there are no good options to address our needs.
The most egregious behavior was when Spectrum increased the bill by $5/month with NO change in speed or service! It happened twice in the past year. I called Spectrum each time to ask why and their response was, “the increase is to ensure you continue to receive high-quality service.”
Spectrum is forcing us pay more for the same service. Because Spectrum has a monopoly on high-speed internet in Culver City, the only option is to downgrade to DSL or Satellite internet speeds.
I’m asking for the help of the Culver City Administrative Office because I, like many residents here, feel the pain of Spectrum’s unfair and predatory practices. Internet is a utility.
We need it to make a living, pay our bills, and read our mail. Internet service providers like Spectrum are taking advantage of Culver City’s citizens.
We need to stand up and end Spectrum’s price gouging, allowing affordable internet for small and low-income households in Culver City.
Let’s bring Spectrum to the negotiating table and encourage new companies to compete in our broadband marketplace.