All of us at Grande appreciate your business. Each of us work hard to ensure that you and the communities we serve have access to the best, fastest and most reliable internet, TV and phone services for your business. We are local; we live and work in your community, and we are committed to serving you, our friends, families and neighbors. To deliver on this, Grande continues to make substantial investments and upgrades to our network and technology to give customers more for their money — like faster internet speeds, a more reliable network and an overall better experience – all backed by our local customer support.
While Grande strives to keep prices as low as possible, we – and our entire industry – continue to face dramatic increases in the costs large corporate broadcasters and cable networks charge distributors like us for their content. These networks are charging increasingly higher fees to make up for lost advertising revenue due to fewer consumers watching their programming. Because of these rising programming costs, we are forced to make adjustments to our rates, recovering only a portion of those increases. Although we absorb some of the cost increases, it is sometimes necessary to update our rates.
To continue to deliver the best products and services, a few specific fee(s) will be adjusted. We believe these changes are in keeping with the value provided by Grande—consistently delivering outstanding network performance and reliability.
We’ll continue working hard to bring you the most advanced services with outstanding customer support while minimizing operating and programming costs. Led by a customer-focused vision, we’re dedicated to fulfilling your communication, entertainment and information needs.
Is the Broadcast TV Surcharge a government fee or tax?
The Broadcast TV Surcharge is a fee by the owners of local broadcast "network-affiliated," TV stations (affiliates of CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and so on). The fee enables Grande to continue to offer these channels for our customers. This surcharge is not imposed by the government and is subject to change. It is not a franchise fee, which is imposed by local franchising authorities (municipalities) as compensation for Grande’s use of the public right-of-ways or easements. This surcharge is not a tax, which Grande collects on behalf of local, state, and federal governments.
What is the Broadcast TV Surcharge?
Programming costs and retransmission fees from local broadcasters comprise the largest cost in our business. These fees are growing at an alarming rate — faster than Grande and other distributors can absorb. The Broadcast TV Surcharge reflects only a portion of the rapidly escalating charges demanded by the broadcast TV stations such as NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and others.
Is this cost different from what I have been paying for in the past?
The monthly rate for cable TV is based on fees paid for TV programming and the cost of operating and maintaining the cable TV system so that our signals can reach subscribers’ homes with quality and reliability. Grande has invested millions in its network and services in 2018 and will continue to invest in 2019. While we pledge to hold prices as low as possible, annual adjustments are necessary because of the rising cost of TV programming – specific to broadcast, sports and entertainment programming.
In recent years, broadcasters and network owners have become very aggressive, demanding increasingly larger payments for carriage of their “must see” network shows and their family of networks when historically most channels were available at much lower costs to consumers and the cable TV provider. The rapid increase in fees imposed by broadcasters and network owners has necessitated that we introduce an additional surcharge to customers to help cover only a portion of these rapidly increasing costs.
Why do I have to pay for Broadcast TV if I can get it free with an antenna?
Broadcast TV stations distribute their signals over the air, using free spectrum granted to them by the federal government. In effect, taxpayers are subsidizing the distribution of broadcast, or “network-affiliated,” TV signals. These same broadcast TV stations are then allowed by the government to charge cable and satellite companies for their signals — and if we (the cable operator) don’t agree to pay, broadcasters will drop their channels from your lineup, thereby adversely impacting our customers. Historically, these fees were made available to Grande at low cost or no cost. This is no longer the case — cable TV operators are forced to pay rapidly escalating fees demanded by the broadcast TV network owners.
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