How much do you pay your ISP? Consumer Reports wants to see your bill

Vacuum cleaner sucking up a pile of money.

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With broadband-industry lobby groups implausibly claiming that Internet providers have slashed their prices, Consumer Reports is on a mission to collect and analyze thousands of monthly Internet bills from real customers.

In an announcement today, Consumer Reports said it launched the Broadband Together initiative with 40 other groups to “analyze the cost, quality, and speeds that are being delivered to people in communities across the US and to better understand the factors that affect price and why consumers pay different rates for the same service.” At least one thing is certain before the analysis begins: the actual amount ISPs charge is a lot higher than their advertised prices because of various fees that get tacked on after customers select a plan.

Over 6,600 people have already participated. You can join at the project website, which says the process takes seven minutes. “To participate, consumers will need an Internet bill, an Internet connection so CR researchers can test their speeds, and answer a few questions about their broadband service,” Consumer Reports said. The group will analyze bills “to compare companies’ prices and service” and figure out “what consumers actually pay for broadband.”

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