September 21, 2005
I don't think I can handle any more bad news
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse...
Starting in October, Houstonians will be paying more to watch their favorite shows on cable television.
Time Warner said Monday it will raise its cable TV rates for existing customers beginning Oct. 1 by $1.90 to $3 a month depending on the level of service. The rate hike will appear in bills sent out in November to cover the previous month's service.
Time Warner said the increase is needed to defray higher costs of electricity to power its facilities and for gasoline needed for its fleet of 1,100 vehicles that cover an area from The Woodlands to Galveston.
"The reality is most businesses are feeling the pressure of increased costs of power and fuel," said Michael Bybee, a Time Warner spokesman in Houston. "Along with that, we continue to face significant increases in programming costs. We're being forced to adjust the rates to offset these increases."
Its main pay television competitors in the Houston area, Dish Network and DirecTV, both increased rates earlier this year.
Each blamed escalating programming costs and appeared to keep their rates steady at least for now.
Hey, SBC? Remember how you told us that passing that telecom bill so you could compete in the cable TV market would mean lower rates for everybody? I believe the ball is now officially in your court.
On a related note, Dwight blogs about TWC's new tiered service for high-speed Internet access. At least that part of the Time Warner empire (and their digital phone service) will not have price hikes at this time.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 21, 2005 to Bidness
I wonder if TVMAX will follow suit.
Is Grande available where you are? It's the best.
Can't say I'm surprised. For many, satellite is a better deal than cable, but that advantage disappears if you're dependent on your local cable co. for broadband Internet access.
In the Dallas area, Comcast's Internet service is already sky-high (once the 'come-on' rate expires after a few months). Last I checked, it was $42.95/mo! But if you don't take cable TV, they add another $10/mo for Internet, so that you can't save money by switching to satellite.
Unfortunately, our house is too far from the SBC central office to get DSL (or even decent dial-up speeds), and it goes without saying that if you can't get DSL, you're not going to get TV over your phone lines either. And SBC isn't going to build a new CO unless the neighborhood it serves is wealthy enough to buy lots of those "extras." (There's also a high-speed wireless provider in the area, but our neighborhood contains a large number of tall oak trees - in fact the neighborhood is named "The Oaks" - so the wireless co.'s rep said their service wouldn't work in my neighborhood either!) In other words, if you live in a mixed-income area, you're SOL.
"IDSL" (a rather slow DSL service that uses ISDN equipment to achieve broader coverage) is available, but far more expensive than even Comcast! So Comcast has a de facto monopoly in our neighborhood, and I suspect that's a quite common situation. Hence their pricing.
So for now, I'm scraping by with satellite TV and dial-up Internet at 28.8 to 37.7Kbps. I do have high-speed Internet access from work, but it's heavily censored. Luckily, Off the Kuff hasn't made it to "Webcensor's" blacklist - yet.
Verizon FIOS has 15/mb down and 2/MB up.. for only 45-50$, and its out around dallas and various other places in texas...
Fios also has 5MB-Down and 2MB-UP for only 34.95$ a month..