"Cable TV was once considered the ultimate entertainment necessity. The over-the-air days of VHF/UHF television signals couldn't keep up with the voracious need of viewers who needed more, more, more channels. Having a cable directly pumping all that high-definition content into your home became the norm, and the cable providers—who now likely provide your high-speed broadband Internet access—knew they had you on the hook.
Of course, they didn't factor in that the Internet would become their worst enemy. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video are just the most well-known names in what's become known as "cord cutting"—namely, doing away with pay TV and using Internet-based services to get all your "television" programming. No more paying a huge monthly fee for thousands of hours of TV you don't watch. Instead, pay individual services for a la carte programming. It's almost like paying for just what you watch. Almost.
Cable companies, of course, are freaking out. The average cable TV bill went up by 5.8 percent from July 2013 to July 2014, according to ABC News. That's because subscribers are dropping like flies to become cord cutters; MoffettNathanson says 3 percent of subscribers made the switch between early 2012 and mid-2014. Experian says that in 2013, 18.1 percent of households that had Netflix or Hulu became cord cutters. It's almost ironic that the cable companies probably don't lose those people entirely as customers, since most of them will need a hefty Internet pipe to get the same quality of TV over the Internet.
The FCC recently redefined what really constitutes "broadband" speed in the U.S. as 25 Megabits per second (Mbps), up from 4 Mbps, which was the standard since 2010. That puts about 17 percent of the population (55 million households) without true broadband. But, in theory, to be an effective cord cutter, a 5Mbps connection should do it."
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