Frontier jacks up cable installations to $500, threatens 46 percent price hike

frontier-cable-motto

In Washington County, Oregon, one cable company is trying to put itself out of business. Oregon Live reports that Frontier Communications has raised its installation fees from $79 to $500 in the last month (Comcast charges $30) and is planning a 46 percent increase in cable TV prices, which are already high. The reason: it’s trying to get out of the cable business and move people toward its new partnership with DirecTV, a service that will make it more money than Cable. Unfortunately for Frontier, local regulators don’t plan to let it be a quitter.

In a report to the MACC commission, Policy & Regulatory Affairs Manager Fred Christ complains that Frontier isn’t being forthcoming with him even though it notified customers in several towns that it was “exercising its right to terminate the Franchise and all obligations under it,” but hasn’t provided a date or concrete information to subscribers. Worse, customers seeking to end their contract with Frontier after hearing this news are still subject to an early termination fee of $200.

For these reasons, MACC regulators are now taking sides and recommending Comcast over Frontier: “For new customers, MACC is recommending against initiating a new relationship with Frontier,” writes Christ. “The $500 installation fee is simply ridiculous and unjustified, particularly when weighed against free or typical $30 installations by Comcast and similar offers from satellite providers. Whatever the benefits of Frontier’s FiOS video, we do not believe the service is worth that initial investment. We urge new customers to contact Comcast first, since it provides a locally franchised service in many ways superior compared to satellite providers.”

Of course, Christ and Co. don’t have any actual authority to do much about the situation. His recommendation of Comcast is also suspicious since his commission receives its funding from cable and telephone fees companies pay into. If everybody switched to satellite TV and Internet telephone services, he could be out of a job.

Our word to the wise: if you’re living in Oregon, explore your options. You can find a lot of good TV on the Internet and Web these days using services like Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV, or ESPN on Xbox 360. But if you can’t do without a ton of live TV channels, steer clear of Frontier.

Computing

Opera web browser targets enhanced accessibility with major redesign

The browser wars are heating up. In the latest move for Opera, a new development release pushes it even closer to Chrome with a redesign and overall goal of redefining the modern web browser. 
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

What is YouTube TV? Here’s everything you need to know the streaming service

YouTube TV is becoming an increasingly major competitor to other streaming services. Not sure if the service might be right for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got a guide detailing everything you could want to know about the service.
Computing

Breaking: Amazon won’t build headquarters in New York in face of opposition

Amazon has canceled plans for a New York City headquarters afer citizens, civic groups, and politicians pushed back on Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's exclamation of economic joy over Amazon's earlier…
Computing

DLSS is finally arriving in games, but how does Nvidia's super-sampling actually work?

Nvidia's new DLSS technology is exciting, but what is it and how does it work? It's not quite anti-aliasing and it's not quite super sampling. It's a little bit of both and the end results can be impressive.
Computing

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.