Frontier puts FiOS TV rate hike on hold

Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR) has decided that while it's not abandoning its proposed FiOS TV rate hikes in Oregon, Washington and Indiana, it felt it needed a bit more time to craft the right message before implementing them, reports The Oregonian.  

"We're working on the specific messaging: How do we help customers with the price increase?" said Frontier spokeswoman Stephanie Beasly.

In January, a report emerged that Frontier would raise its FiOS TV rates by 46 percent because it felt it did not have the clout to negotiate reasonable prices for TV programming. Customers that did not want to pay the higher prices were given the option to switch to DirecTV satellite service.

Initially, Frontier said the new rates would be imposed on new FiOS TV customers at the beginning of the year and then on Feb. 18 for new customers and existing customers with expiring contracts. This was followed by an announcement that the rate increases would go into effect on March 1.

Beasly said, "There is not a rate increase that will be taking place either of those days. But there still will be a rate increase."

Regardless of when the price hikes go into effect, Frontier's move not only contradicts its initial promise to Oregon's video regulator Metropolitan Area Communications Commission (MACC) that it would support the FiOS TV franchises and not raise rates, but possibly confirms local regulator's fear that Frontier never wanted to be in the TV business at all.

For more:
- The Oregonian has this article
- FierceCable also has this coverage

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