The General Accounting Office said the new providers are offering competition to existing telephone and cable operators, but few customers get the benefits because they operate only in a few cities. In addition, because of problems raising money and signing up customers, the long-term viability of these providers is not clear. Residents in five municipalities paid at least 15% less for expanded basic cable TV than customers in similar cities without similar competition. Residents in four municipalities paid at least 4% less for telephone service. Residents in three municipalities paid at least 20% less for high-speed Internet service.