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Cable Companies to Hit You with Hidden Fees - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Cable Companies to Hit You with Hidden Fees

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A new rule may allow cable companies to hit you with a sneaky fee. The companies could force you to have cable boxes in your homes starting Monday, and after a free year or two, you would have to pay for them.

We called some cable companies in North Dakota and Minnesota to find out how this affects you.

It all goes back to the analog to digital transition. If you remember, in 2009 all broadcast television stations were required to stop sending out an analog signal and switch to a digital one.

Cable companies were not required to do this.

Now the cable companies no longer have to send out an analog signal to customers. If they switch to all digital, you have to have cable boxes to receive service.

The catch is, within two years, you may have to pay a small fee of about $5 a month for each box. 

We found out some companies, like Midcontinent and Sjoberg's Cable are not switching to all digital. They say their customers raised concerns about it, so in the near future nothing will change.

We did find one company though, Charter Communications in Fergus Falls that is requiring a box for each television. The deal they are offering is two free boxes for a year. After that year, it will cost $5 per box.

The company says some customers are upset but in order to provide high-definition signals, they need to save space.

If you are not sure about what your cable provider is doing, feel free to give them a call to find out if you could be at risk for the hidden fees.

***Note*** We also tried calling Cableone, Polar Communications and Cable Services, Inc. They were not able to get back to us on Monday.

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