- The average cable and internet bill in the U.S. is now $118/mo.
- For internet alone, the median bill is $74.99/mo.
- More than a third of Americans’ yearly salary is spent on household bills.
- Rent, auto loans, utilities and car insurance have all increased by more than 10% in the last two years, while cable and internet bills have only increased by 1.7%.
It’s easy to set up autopay and forget how much we’re paying per month for any number of utilities and services. If you asked the average person what their monthly water bill is, we’re willing to guess they might not have an accurate answer.
The same goes for cable bills. It’s rare to find a customer, especially one who signed up years ago and forgot about the monthly bill, to be able to recall exactly how much they’re paying each month. In fact, if you were to ask most people what they are paying for their cable package, most would likely reference the special sign-up rate and not what the bill has probably turned into following that introductory period.
But even with rising inflation and promotional periods ending, the cost of cable TV and internet has held relatively steady.
The average U.S. household spends $118/mo. on cable and internet
While it’s still a large expense, the price of cable and internet has remained relatively flat for the past decade. As new internet technologies like fiber and 5G have proliferated, consumers have far more options for home internet than they did a few years ago.
- 82% of households have a cable and internet bill, with an average annual cost of $1,141.
- Cable and internet bills have only increased by 1.7% in the past two years — up from $116/mo. in 2021.
- New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, Maryland, and New York rank as the most expensive states for cable and internet.
- North Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota are the least expensive states for cable and internet.
- Learn more location-specific data in Allconnect’s broadband reports for the Northeast and West regions.
The median cost of internet on its own is $74.99/mo.
If you take cable out of the equation, the median high-speed internet bill dips to just $74.99/mo., according to a Consumer Reports analysis. That puts the value of cable in the cable-internet bundle at around $43 — similar to many live TV streaming services.
- About half of U.S. households pay between $60 and $90/mo. for internet alone.
- Americans in markets with at least three broadband providers paid about $5/mo. less for service than those in areas with only one or two providers.
- Discounts have a major impact on the final number on your bill. Consumer Reports found that more than half of AT&T and Verizon bills contained discounts, while none of the Google Fiber bills did.
- The average internet speed in the U.S. is currently 98 Mbps of download speed and 22 Mbps of upload speed.
Other household bills have increased faster than cable and internet
Your cable and internet bill may not have budged too much in recent years, but the rest of your bills haven’t slowed down. Here’s how other monthly expenses compare to cable and internet:
- Rent, auto loans, utilities and car insurance have all increased by more than 10% in the last two years — roughly equal to inflation over the same period.
- 86% of consumers say they’re worried about the impact of inflation on their financial health.
- Utilities top the list of bills that consumers are most concerned about paying (73%), followed by auto insurance and cable and internet (both 63%) and mobile phone (62%).
- 1 in 4 consumers say they are “extremely worried” about the impact of inflation on their financial health.
- More than a third of Americans’ yearly salary is put toward household bills.
There are several things you can do to save money on your cable bill
Cable companies are always offering specials and many with no long-term contracts. Check with every provider in your area to see what sort of specials they have running for new customers and consider the long term savings of making the switch.
Talk to your current cable provider about options to lower your bill
Most people are probably paying for more bandwidth than they need, or for premium cable networks they rarely watch. Consider negotiating your bill with a sales rep at your existing cable company to discuss options to save money directly with your current plan.
Purchase your own equipment to avoid hefty rental fees
Most consumers simply don’t know that they are renting a $50-$80 modem from their cable companies for anywhere between $10-$20/mo. Purchase your own equipment and immediately start saving.
For consumers looking to save money, the best place to start is by analyzing all monthly expenses and deciding where they can make cuts. The cable bill for most people will almost certainly offer some opportunity to cut costs. Take a look at your monthly bill and speak with your cable provider today if you have questions about how you can save money.
For this report, we used publicly available data from municipal utility providers, Consumer Reports, and data sourced through third-party research from the bill payment company doxo to determine the average prices for each utility.
The bottom line
Internet is one of the few utilities that hasn’t increased in the past two years. While inflation is up more than 11% in that period, cable and internet bills have only risen 1.7%. At $118/mo., that is still prohibitively expensive for many households, but there are some things you can do to reduce your internet bill, including taking advantage of government-funded internet programs.
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Written by:Joe Supan
Principal Writer, Broadband Content
Joe is a senior writer for CNET covering home technology and broadband. Prior to joining CNET, Joe led MYMOVE’s moving coverage and reported on broadband policy, the digital divide, and privacy issues for the br… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content