Telecom companies like AT&T love creating new fees to tack on customer bills, and they really love raising those fees after customers sign contracts that are supposed to lock in a consistent price.
It’s a win-win for the company, but not the customer: AT&T gets to advertise a lower price than it actually charges and has a mechanism for raising customer bills whenever it wants to. Customers who are angry enough to cancel service would have to pay early termination fees.
This story about AT&T thus isn’t likely to surprise anyone, but it’s possible you haven’t heard about the particular fee we’ve been looking into this week. AT&T has been charging business Internet customers a “property tax” fee, claiming it needs to charge this to recover AT&T’s own property taxes. AT&T has been charging the fee for at least a couple of years and just hit customers in California with an increase that more doubled the fee.
If 5G really does have the power to break the “last mile” ISP monopolists, then it can’t come too soon.