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Comcast to hike rates

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The company announced its last rate increase in 2009

By Carol A. Clark

The average Comcast customer will see a 3.2 percent increase on their cable bill effective Aug. 1.

“I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I believe that’s about what the increase was last fall,” Comcast Director of Public Affairs Chris Dunkeson said Wednesday. “This increase is reflective of two things, the combination of the increased cost of doing business and the fact that we continue to invest in new technology.”

Starting Aug. 1 or with the first billing statement thereafter, new prices will apply to select Comcast services according to a legal notice the company posted in the Los Alamos Monitor.

These increases are limited to residential customers.

Commercial customers have dodged this rate hike, Dunkeson said.

Residential customers currently on promotional pricing programs or minimum agreements will not incur increases to those services until the end of the promotional period or minimum term period, according to the notice.

Comcast’s basic cable package is set to increase from $34.95 to $36.65, digital preferred plus is increasing from $98.85 to $104.99, the sports entertainment package will go from $5 to $6.95 and the digital premiere package is hiking from $111.39 to $120.99.

Comcast’s economy Internet package, without other service, will increase from $34.95 to $39.95.

Dunkeson does not anticipate another rate hike any time soon, he said.

Deputy Manager of Engineering James Alarid of the Department of Public Utilities for Los Alamos County said that the rate hikes have no impact on the county because Comcast and the DPU are completely separate entities.

“We really have no official business relationship,” he said. “We do coordinate projects together for the sake of simplification and ease of construction.”

The Diamond Drive project is one of the largest endeavors in which the DPU and Comcast have collaborated.

For more information, contact Comcast at www.comcast.com or call 1-800-comcast.