Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Comcast Raising Its Rates by an Average 3.1%; Only Cable TV Subscribers Will Be Affected - Internet and Telephone Services Will Remain Unchanged

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Comcast Raising Its Rates by an Average 3.1%; Only Cable TV Subscribers Will Be Affected - Internet and Telephone Services Will Remain Unchanged

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK BASCH

Once Christmas is over, many of you will be getting something in the mail that could dampen your holiday cheer: a letter from Comcast Corp. announcing a cable television rate increase.

Actually, not all customers will see a rate increase, depending on the video package they get. But Comcast, which serves about 293,000 customers covering most of Northeast Florida, said the average customer's monthly bill will rise by 3.1 percent beginning Feb. 1.

The increase is only for cable TV subscribers. Comcast is holding prices steady for its Internet and digital telephone services. And customers who bundle television, Internet and telephone together will also see no increase.

This will be the fourth straight year that Comcast has raised its cable rates, but Tim Horn, area vice president and general manager, said that doesn't mean you should expect an increase every year.

"We evaluate it regularly. We constantly evaluate our prices, our products and our programming lineup," he said. "It's not an automatic annual issue."

Horn said the increase is needed to fund improvements in the company's television service.

"Price adjustments reflect the increased value of our services, millions of dollars in capital investments to provide advanced products and services, improved quality of our products and improved customer service," he said.

Comcast is adding several channels to its digital television packages, including the Oxygen and Travel channels.

The price changes vary depending on the type of package a customer receives. Customers who get expanded basic cable will see their monthly bills rise by $2 to $49.99, before taxes and fees. The Digital Silver package, which offers a full range of digital channels plus a premium movie channel package, will rise by $3 to $77.45.

However, Comcast's Digital Starter package will hold steady at $49.99 a month.

Rate increases have been a fact of life in the cable television industry recently. Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission released a report indicating that the average monthly bill for expanded basic cable rose 5. …

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