If you’re a FiOS TV customer with Frontier Communications – the company that took over Verizon’s phone service last year – you’ll be facing a steep rate increase.
Frontier is raising rates for its most common TV packages by $30 per month. That’s nearly a 50 percent increase for the most common package, the $65 a month plan with 220 channels. It will now cost $95.
Frontier notified local franchising officials of the change on Monday. The increase was first reported today by The Oregonian.
Customers affected by the change will be notified by mail later this month.
Rates are going up because the cost of content is increasing, and Frontier doesn’t have the scale to absorb those costs, spokeswoman Stephanie Beasly said.
“The pricing is going up – the cost of providing content is going up,” she said. “We’re not able to offset that pricing in our market.”
Premium TV plans will increase $30 per month. The basic, local TV package will increase $12 per month.
Higher rates took effect Monday for new customers just signing up. Existing customer rates will go up Feb. 18, except for those with contracts. For people who have contracts – for one or two years, for instance – rates won’t change until the contract expires.
As an alternative, Frontier will be offering customers the choice of getting DirecTV satellite service, including deals when bundled with phone and Internet service. DirecTV content will be free through 2011 to customers who switch from FiOS; in 2012 a package with 225 channels and HD service would cost $63 per month.
Frontier provides the TV service in Washington, Oregon and Indiana. The Connecticut-based company acquired Verizon’s phone lines last July in a deal first announced in May 2009.
Beasly said there are no current plans to increase the cost of FiOS broadband rates.
Here’s a chart showing the old and new rates: