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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 2, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Comcast raising rates 5 percent, Happy Fourth!

Fireworks will go off as soon as Comcast customers open their next bill.

The company is raising rates an average of $3.21 per month, or 4.9 percent. It’s also raising the fee to rent a cable modem by $2 a month.

Comcast just announced that it will be notifying its 1.1 million customers in Washington of the new rates, which take effect Aug. 1. The statement from spokesman Steve Kipp:

“We continue to invest in next-generation technology to support new product features, more programming choices and improvements to customer service. These investments make it possible to deliver continued innovations such as more HD and On Demand choices, converged services, multi-platform content, faster Internet speeds and new services consumers want and value. As a result of these investments, combined with the increased cost of doing business and rising programming costs, the average customer bill will increase by 4 percent.”

Digital Starter — the most common package — is increasing in price $3.54, from $57.45 to $60.99.

People who get barebones, absolute basic cable won’t see a price increase. Those plans will stay $13 to $18 per month, depending on where you live.

For people who subscribe only to Comcast broadband, and not its TV service, there will be a $3 per month increase “to standardize our pricing with other Comcast regions around the country,” Kipp said via e-mail.

Those who get the “Digital Economy” package will get a break. Their rates will decline, ranging from 4 cents per month to $10.04 per month, depending on their bundle, because Comcast is standardizing this service tier at $29.95 per month. Digital Economy includes the limited basic channels but 17 digital cable channels, including Food Network, History, Disney Channel, Lifetime, AMC and USA.

CableCard users will continue to get their first card free. A second card will cost 10 cents less per month — $1.50 instead of $1.60.

Comments | Topics: broadband, Comcast, digital TV

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