Cable fees to be increased in 2002

Cable TV behemoth AT&T Broadband said on Friday it will increase rates by an average of 5.5 percent for some standard, basic and digital service packages beginning Jan. 1.

The company, a unit of telephone giant AT&T, said the higher rates reflect its higher costs of providing service and operating its business. AT&T Broadband is weighing takeover offers from Comcast and others.

"Everyday costs such as putting gas in field trucks and paying competitive wages to customer care personnel and technicians have increased. AT&T Broadband also is paying higher fees to programmers for the rights to carry their content," the company said in a statement. It said programming costs in 2002 will increase by about 15 percent.

The price hike will affect standard cable customers and some basic-only and digital package customers. The company will notify customers in their cable bills and legal notices in newspapers published in areas where prices are changing.

News source: CNet News

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