Time Warner raises rates, ire in upstate NY

Cable rate hikes scheduled to take place March 1 in Utica, N.Y., are not making customers happy. Time Warner Cable's rate increases of around 7 percent are causing heartburn among cash-strapped consumers.

Rates are going up across the board on individual services and service bundles. A triple-play bundle including Internet, phone and TV service is going up around 5 percent. Time Warner Cable says the increases are due to rising programming costs, with network fees up 113 percent since 2001.

Customers are threatening to move to satellite, but Time Warner says it isn't afraid of losing customers; it has been adding customers since it took over the Utica cable franchise from Adelphia three years ago. The cable company says customers should look at triple-play bundles to save money, or the basic cable service, which will stay the same price of around $13 per month.

Readers should expect to hear more complaints about rising cable costs in single provider/less competitive markets in the coming months, with the noise playing against the backdrop of under-served markets and the national broadband stimulus package.

For more:
- First Utica, then? Article

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