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Comcast to raise cable TV rates 3.8 percent Aug. 1
[July 03, 2010]

Comcast to raise cable TV rates 3.8 percent Aug. 1

Jul 03, 2010 (The Sacramento Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Comcast will raise its cable TV rates by nearly 4 percent starting Aug. 1, citing new technology and business costs, company officials announced Friday.

The average Comcast customer will pay between $1.26 and $1.95 more per month for TV and/or Internet service.

For example, a "digital starter" package of 80-plus channels, now $61.99 a month, will increase to $63.25.

Limited Basic customers will see monthly bills rise from $17.24 to $18.74.

Comcast's Internet customers, who pay an average $44.72 per month, will see an increase of $1.95 to $46.67.

Customers who signed up for promotional deals are not subject to the price hike, officials said, but pricing for additional services not covered by the promotion may change.

The 3.8 percent rate hike comes weeks after Comcast, the Sacramento area's largest cable TV provider, concluded its switch from analog to digital service.

Last month's digital conversion freed up bandwidth for additional digital and high-definition offerings, but it rankled customers who rushed to Comcast offices and stood in lines for the digital conversion boxes. The boxes are required in order to continue receiving the Extended Basic service.

Soon after the digital conversion, Comcast launched 81 new cable offerings in the Sacramento area, including some existing networks like Animal Planet and Comedy Central that are now shown in high definition.

Andrew Johnson, a Comcast regional vice president, cited the cost of digital conversion and investment in new high-definition technology as part of the reason for the rate increase.

"We continue to invest in next-generation technology to support new product features, more programming choices and improvements to customer service," Johnson said in a statement.

------ Call The Bee's Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

To see more of The Sacramento Bee, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2010, The Sacramento Bee, Calif.

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