My Two Cents

4:00 AM –- Talk ain't cheap.

Neither is bandwidth or a cell phone, for that matter.

The average price paid per subscriber for DSL service is expected to go up this year, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) 2006 Market Review and Forecast.

TIA estimates that in 2005, there were about 17 million U.S. DSL customers paying, on average, about $39.18 a month for their hookups. But in 2006, TIA says, DSL subscribers will jump to 19.3 million, but the average cost per month will also climb -- to $39.24 a month.

Guess what else is going up? Your cell phone bill.

TIA's forecast says that in 2005, there were 194.5 million U.S. wireless subscribers spending, on average, about $50.25 a month on their phone bills. The association predicts that this year there will be 218 million subscribers spending about $51 a month on their wireless phone bills.

Sure, but those are new-ish technologies. Old, dead technologies like basic residential phone service are plummeting in price, right? Uh, not so much.

TIA and FCC data show that between 1991 and 2004, the average local monthly phone bill in the U.S. jumped in price by 23 percent, from $19.77 in '91 to $24.31 in '04.

And don't even get me started on the price of a cup of coffee…

— Phil Harvey, Nickels & Dimes Editor, Light Reading

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