Broadband Price Charter

12:30 PM -- Time for a little broadband kiss and tell.

Charter Communications Inc. just gave me a break on my Internet bill because I agreed not to switch service providers for a 12-month service term.

Under this current deal, I'm agreeing to pay $32.46 a month (after tax) for a 3-Mbit/s service. The price goes up significantly after 12 months. They're happy to have me as a customer. But, after a year, let's just be friends.

When I look back over my Charter bills during the past several years, though, things get a bit weird.

Table 1: Phil's Broadband Bills: A Retrospective
Date Downstream Upstream Price Per Month (After Tax)
Sep-03 1.5 Mbit/s 128 Kbit/s $62.91
Mar-04 2 Mbit/s 128 Kbit/s $41.23
Jul-04 3 Mbit/s 256 Kbit/s $41.23
Jan-05 3 Mbit/s 256 Kbit/s $52.05
Mar-06 3 Mbit/s 256 Kbit/s $32.46
Mar-07 3 Mbit/s 256 Kbit/s $56.30
Note: March 2007 per-month price is as quoted by Charter, should I remain a customer after 12-months.

All over the world, the price per megabit for broadband is on the decline. But in my 'hood, the price goes down, then up, then down, then way up.

Here's something to think about: The great Mark Cuban suggests that most U.S. families, eventually, will require a 100-Mbit/s connection to the home.

Based on Charter's pricing plan for my account in 2007, a 100-Mbit/s connection to my home would cost a shocking $62 a day.

I told my wife about this back-of-the-envelope extrapolation and she, not realizing that I was talking theoretically, fainted and flew backwards into a wall at 5 MPH (she was on the treadmill at the time).

While I stand over her with smelling salts, let me pose a question to the readership: What's the best-ever broadband deal that you've received?

— Phil Harvey, Broadband For-a-Year Editor, Light Reading

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