One Out of Six Washingtonians experience ‘bill shock’


According to a survey conducted by the FCC, 30 million Americans (one out of six in the nation including the Washingtonians) have experienced bill shock, which it defines as a sudden increase in people’s monthly bills that isn’t caused by a change in service plans.

It also shows that nearly half of cell phone users who have plans with early termination fees (ETFs) — and almost two-thirds of home broadband users with ETFs — don’t know the amount of the fees they’re accountable for

One-third of the people surveyed who said they experienced bill shock said their bills jumped by more than $50.

The wireless sector will certainly going to go under increased scrutiny from government Earlier in the week, a group of congressmen said they are going to try to revise the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and 74 congressmen said they were concerned with the FCC’s plan to regulate broadband services.

Underlying all of the commotion is questions about the nation’s broadband networks and whether there is enough competition in the marketplace, and whether the United States lags in broadband deployments compared to the rest of the world.  While this primarily impacts wired broadband providers and the FCC and industry agree a light regulatory touch is best for wireless, the sector nonetheless likely will be impacted.

An April study from ID Insight and Successful.com found that the broadband competition at the county level suggests that often people can only choose between two broadband providers.

That being said, our congressmen better hurrying up putting a leash on our wireless service providers with tougher regulations or our institutional investors better start injecting more cash into more startups focusing on wireless services which hopefully creates more competition and options for us, the consumers.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

6 Responses to One Out of Six Washingtonians experience ‘bill shock’

  1. Matt J. says:

    So they are finally going to revisit the Telecommunications Act? It is about time! Some of us tried to warn Congress and the nation even back then that this Act was a giveaway to the industry. But nobody listened to the EFF. Now they are finally beginning to admit their mistakes. Or are they? Are they going to do the same thing all over again, only pretending to make substantial, realistic revisions?

    • Elias Shams says:

      I doubt they will position this as their mistake. Let’s just hope to regulate this pretty soon. Otherwise, most of us will be financially screwed. In this economy, I can’t afford that. No one can.

  2. tulip tulip says:

    sometimes it seems so

  3. You definitely hit the nail on the head with this article. My internet bill suddenly jumped from 32 dollars to 56 dollars for 6 Mbps with no warning last month. I have also heard a number of horror stories from friends who had their bills increase $50 + after the 6 or 12 month “promotional rates” ended. Unfortunately, there is currently a monopoly in the broadband network and I am predicting it will stay that way for a while…

  4. Brian Cohen says:

    I agree with Anne, except there is something people can do about it. Call the company, ask to speak to the customer retention department, and threaten to switch to another service. This works well with comcast and verizon. I got my bill cut by 50% with Cox by threatening to leave for Verizon FIOS.

  5. I will give that I try. Thanks Brian!

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