Cutting the Cable: One Way Pay TV Operators Are Discouraging Disruption

There's always Apple TV, which gives you access to Netflix, Hulu and movie rentals via iTunes. But you'll still need that broadband connection.

As you can tell, our July story on "cord-cutters" detailing how pay television subscribers are turning to the Internet for programming, is still racking up the pageviews, mainly because so many of us dislike our pay TV providers and/or think we're paying waaay too much for too many channels that we simply don't watch.

That provided a big opportunity of a host of would-be TV disruptors to swoop in "over the top" and offer rafts of programming via the Internet. Microsoft, Google and Apple -- to say nothing of the Boxees and Rokus of the world -- are storming our living rooms in hopes of finally dislodging Big Cable from its throne.

But today, the Wall Street Journal brings us all back down to Earth with news of what many of us suspected would happen soon anyway: cable companies are raising the price of their broadband Internet services:

When Georgia-based medical student Cathy Vu called Comcast Corp. last month to cancel her TV service and keep just Internet, she got a shock. Taking the Internet alone would cost her more, not less, a month.

Assuming she wanted to keep the same Internet speed, her bill would rise by $20 a month from what she was already paying, Comcast told her. The 23-year-old, who says she watches video mostly online, decided there was no point in canceling TV.

"People are pretty much forced into buying both services, and it just doesn't make sense to me," she said.

Comcast confirms the pricing strategy, saying it is more valuable for the cable operator to pursue customers who will take multiple services than "single play" customers.

You can read our original "Cutting the Cable" story here. And if any of you have any ingenious plans to Watch TV Better, please let us know in comments. 

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