Broadcast Fees

Help us tell Congress you don’t want Broadcast Surcharges

Broadcast surcharges cause you to pay more to watch TV content that should be free.

A decades-old federal law empowers broadcasters, including corporations that own TV stations such as ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, to charge fees to cable and satellite providers for the rights to carry or “retransmit” their signals.   While broadcasters offer their signals for free over the air, using the free spectrum granted to them by the Federal government,  cable operators like HomeTel can’t offer these signals to cable customers without permission from the broadcaster.  We have to pay fees to the broadcasters to get that permission. Most people don’t realize they are paying fees for what most consider “free TV” such as national network programs like The Big Bang Theory and NFL games.  This year, the fees have increased dramatically due to local stations charging retransmission fees far higher than many of the most popular cable networks.

While we regret the need to increase the surcharge on customer bills, we pledge not to profit from that surcharge.

We will not collect more from the surcharge than we pay to the owners of broadcast TV stations.

As a voter, you can help change broadcast carriage rules by contacting your Congressman.  Please take a moment to complete the form below.  HomeTel will send a letter on your behalf to your representatives in Congress to let them know you want broadcast carriage reform.

To view sample letters, please click on on the following link:

Broadcast Surcharge Letters to Washington

To learn more about the rising cost of cable TV service, please visit or

Send a Letter to Washington