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Spectrum Raises Price of “Everyday Low Priced Internet” to $24.99

Phillip Dampier November 5, 2018 Broadband Speed, Charter Spectrum, Competition, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't 12 Comments

Charter Communications, which does business as Spectrum, has raised the price of its legacy “Everyday Low Priced Internet (ELP),” a 2/1 Mbps service that Time Warner Cable introduced in 2013 for $14.99 a month. Our reader Todd writes the service is going up another $5 a month (after an earlier $5 rate increase) effective in November 2018, as his latest bill shows:

At Spectrum, we continue to enhance our services, offer more of the best entertainment choices and deliver the best value. We are committed to offering you products and services we are sure you will enjoy. Important Billing Update: Effective with your next billing statement, pricing will be adjusted for:

• Internet Services from $19.99 to $24.99.

New York residents were allowed to keep ELP at the price of $14.99 a month for several years after Charter’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable. But that deal requirement has since expired.

Spectrum continues to offer its income-qualified Spectrum Internet Assist ($14.99) for those receiving:

  • The National School Lunch Program (NSLP); free or reduced cost lunch
  • The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the NSLP
  • Supplemental Security Income ( ≥ age 65 only)

That service is also promoted in mailers in low-income neighborhoods without an income or benefit pre-qualification requirement, so anyone in those neighborhoods can sign up.

Spectrum Internet Assist offers:

  • High-speed 30/4 Mbps Internet with no data caps
  • Internet modem included
  • No contracts required
  • Add in-home WiFi for $5 more per month

Offer not valid for current Spectrum Internet subscribers.

At a new price of $24.99, Spectrum is clearly trying to convince customers still hanging on to the very low-speed internet product Time Warner Cable originally introduced five years ago to move on. Time Warner marketed ELP to budget conscious DSL customers willing to accept lower speed for a lower bill.

Spectrum’s latest promotions for 100-200 Mbps Standard internet start at $29.99 a month for up to two years, depending on your service area and local competition.

Updated 11/6 4:56pm ET: Thanks to our readers for some clarifications:

  • New York customers may not be subject to the rate increase. Existing ELP customers in N.Y. can keep ELP until at least May 17, 2019, as long as they do not make changes to their account that would result in their enrollment being canceled.
  • In former Maxx areas and under some other circumstances, ELP is 3/1 Mbps.

Currently there are 12 comments on this Article:

  1. “That [Internet Assist] service is also promoted in mailers in low-income neighborhoods without an income or benefit pre-qualification requirement, so anyone in those neighborhoods can sign up.” Really? Is that happening in specific cities, or in New York as a whole?

  2. Nick says:

    The legacy ELP plan is far from fast, but it was one of the few things TWC did right: offering an actual low-cost plan that honestly advertised the actual price(no silly 1 year promo price then a major rate hike.)

    While I wouldn’t mind 100/200Mbps service, I simply don’t want to go back to almost having to scream at customer retention annually to get a better rate.

    With this rate hike I’ve decided to cancel my home phone plan with them and simply use an OBi200 and Google Voice. I would love to ditch them as an ISP but due to nearly zero competition I don’t have much choice.

  3. Racerbob says:

    I thought that it was 3/1 speed and not 2/1.

    Just checked the rate card. It is 3/1. Either way they clearly want people off of it.

  4. boby says:

    any screenshots of the $29.99 promo for spectrum internet?

  5. Todd says:

    I could be wrong, but I think it’s only $29.99 for EACH service if you get them all together. So $99/mo for Internet, home phone, and Cable TV, plus taxes and fees. I don’t think you can get just Internet only by itself for a year for $29.99.

  6. Todd says:

    About a year or so ago, Charter/Spectrum increased the 2/1 speed to 3/1.

    As far as I know, this wasn’t really done for purely charity reasons. I think in reality in some ELP locations under Time Warner Cable, some areas were already at 3/1, so the move by Charter/Spectrum to increase 2/1 to 3/1, was more to consolidate speed tiers, than it was to really offer people a speed increase.

  7. Todd says:

    I am seriously considering going back to DSL. I found DSL Extreme may be an option that offers 1Mbps for $15/mo, plus another $3 in taxes and fees.

    I know DSL Extreme may have their issues, according to some reports I’ve read regarding customer service. They just lease the lines from Verizon, or whatever other DSL carrier is in the area.

    The reason why I left Verizon 6-7 years ago, is that the 3Mbps I was getting from them years ago, they sent down a side street, never to be had again, and would only ever connect at 1Mbps.

    I know full well, I won’t be able to stream anything at 1Mbps, but for me, this is a matter of principle. Spectrum was getting $20/mo from me, after they raised my price once. Now with this move, they may go from that, to nothing at all.

    Very annoyed at the very least at their less than yearly $5 price hikes. Most companies with old, grandfathered plans, would just leave the speed and pricing alone. It doesn’t cost them anything to leave it, and they end up losing a lot of goodwill when they start imposing price increases. I’m not planning to stick around and wait for the next increase.

    And with Spectrum, there is no screaming at customer retention. Their pricing is take it, or leave it. More and more people, are shedding services.

    And if 5G ever makes it out this way in my lifetime, they may stand to lose even more customers.

  8. Dylan says:

    I do believe some there is some confusion in the comments. Dampier should of specified (that’s fine) that ELP for legacy customers will get a rate increase to $25. No other state has ELP expect NY, NJ, as far as I know for the new Spectrum plans (merger forced). Only people in other states besides these states can get only Spectrums own low priced service which is $15 for 30/5, not ELP. Spectrum only offers ELP under the Spectrum plans in NY, and NJ.

    Also, 2/1 is legacy speed for legacy customers in previous non-Maxx areas. Maxx areas were 3/1. However, for say a place that has ELP on the Spectrum plans, then Spectrum has it at 3/1. Which again, would only be for NY, NY, as far as I know. Just mentioning this to clear up some confusion here. I know, it’s confusing.

    Also, final thing. These rate increases are almost definitely to keep forcing the remaining legacy customers off of legacy plans. They can’t change mostly everything without switching to a Spectrum plan. As of the third quarter results Spectrum posted, 68 percent are on Spectrum plans. So 32 percent are remaining on legacy plans.

  9. Doug says:

    ELP is still at $14.99 in NY State.
    My October bill, for November billing cycle, does not cite an increase in ELP, only the increase in the Broadcast TV Surcharge and the DTA rental fee.

    I was under the impression that ELP @ $14.99 is/was a condition of the merger for three years after consummation. We will know the fate of ELP come Spring of 2019. (See the “related content / post” link to the article about ELP in NY State…)

  10. Thanks for a lot of clarifications, Dylan. NY is a special case and I’ve had conflicting info about NJ. ELP was offered throughout TWC territory until Charter came along and then stopped accepting new customers in all but NY (and possibly NJ). Those customers already on it have never been thrown off of it, but they are facing rate hikes.

    ELP is not the same as Spectrum Internet Assist, as you note. The former did not require prequalification, the latter usually does, except in a few areas where Spectrum sends out mailers offering it to anyone living in a targeted/disadvantaged neighborhood without qualification.

    I believe our reader Todd is in a legacy service area not upgraded to Maxx, so the 2/1 Mbps speed was what was on offer. I honestly don’t recall if there was a systemwide upgrade to 3 Mbps at this point.

  11. You are correct, Doug. Thanks for catching that! I was preoccupied with some minor medical drama yesterday so I had to rush this out before sitting in the doctor’s office, and I made a few presumptions that turned out not to be entirely accurate.

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