The Costs of Technology

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It’s pretty common knowledge that the cost of technology goes down over time, but there’s one category, as highlighted by Buisness Insider in this rather impressive graphic, that’s actually become more expensive.

The top line (green if you’re color blind) is the cable/satellite/radio category. What I’m not sure of is if this category covers Internet as well.

There are two things I know for sure:

  1. There’s less Internet and television competition in the United States than there should be.
  2. I’m paying less than I did a few years ago.

Regarding that second point: I may be in the minority, and I probably know more than the average person on how to land the best deal possible on my information services. Part of me wonders if increasing royalties (radio) and retransmissions fees (aka broadcast network greed) are just blindly being passed on to consumers. It wouldn’t surprise me.

The only way Internet prices go down is via competition. I live in an area that may someday have Google Fiber (it’s on the list of “potential” cities) and as such, Comcast charges me $135/month for roughly 175mbps of download bandwidth and 220 channels on TV including HBO, Streampix, DVR service, and whatever else that all comes with. In essence, I’m paying $67.50 a month for a 175mbps Internet connection. While Google Fiber would cost roughly $70 for the same basic prospect and raise the limit to 1000mbps, it would be hard to take advantage of that full speed without spending several hundred extra dollars to upgrade my WiFi hardware to match.

Needless to say, also, is that I shouldn’t have to get 220 cable channels to get that kind of price for Internet, but I do. I enjoy watching TV so in my case I get my money’s worth. Cord cutting would cost more, every month (by around +$20) and would come with siloed content services.

Without getting too far off course, we still shouldn’t be seeing the overall price of these services rising. It doesn’t matter the reason. If something’s moving the market in a direction that’s affecting profits, figure out how to make your service more appealing to the mass market, again, don’t just programatically raise rates to counteract and keep those coffins padded with C-notes.