Cable rates increased 5.4% (from $42.99 to $45.32) in 2003, according to the FCC's just-released effective competition report. That is at a slower pace than the previous year, when they rose by 7.8%.
For operators defined as facing "effective competition," the rates rose by 3.6%, compared to 5.6% for those not facing that competition.
But cable systems also upgraded their systems by adding new channels and services over that period. Looked at on a per-channel basis, the rates actually went down by .3% among operators with effective competition, increasing only 1.2%.