Report: Average cable bill remains fairly flat at $122/mo.

Joe Supan

May 14, 2024 — 5 min read

The average cable and internet bill has only increased 5% since 2021 — far less than other household expenses.

Key findings

  • The average U.S. household spends $122/mo. on cable TV and internet
  • Rent, auto loans, utilities and auto insurance increased by 10% in the last 3 years
  • Cable TV and internet connection costs are up 5% in the last 3 years, while mobile phone bills are up 17.48% 
  • 94% of households have mobile phone bills, consistently the highest utility bill

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 $122/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. 

  • 81% of households have a cable and internet bill, with an average annual cost of $1,186.
  • Cable and internet bills have only increased by 5% in the past three years — up from $118/mo. in 2023. 
  • Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington and Utah are the most expensive for cable and internet. 
  • South Dakota, Kansas, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Idaho are the cheapest for cable and internet.

However, the trend continues with more people dropping cable subscriptions in favor of streaming services. According to a Bank of America report, the “share of households making streaming payments paying on average more than $101 a month has more than doubled compared to 2021, while the share of households paying less than $20 a month has dropped by 16% in 2024.” 

The median cost of internet on its own is $81/mo.

If you take cable TV out of the equation, the median high-speed internet bill dips to just $81/mo., according to a Consumer Reports analysis. That puts the value of cable in the cable-internet bundle at around $41 — 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 237 Mbps of download speed and 28 Mbps of upload speed.

The different types of internet can have widely varying costs:

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.
  • 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%). 
  • 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

Shop around

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.

Our methodology

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.

Reducing your internet bill

Internet is one of the few utilities that hasn’t drastically increased since 2021, with just a 5% hike. At $122/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.

Internet spending FAQs

What is the average internet bill?

On average, Americans spend $60 to $90/mo. for a standalone internet service. Adding cable to the bill with the same provider will jump that up to about $122/mo.

Cable TV can start as low as $10/mo. up to hundreds of dollars for premium packages. Cable internet starts $20/mo. for up to 100 Mbps in speed. 

Yes, your internet connection and its monthly bill are considered a utility because it is a service that is provided to your home from an outside source, just like water and electric. 

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Joe Supan

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

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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