Cable rates rising
Published 6:21 am Wednesday, January 16, 2002
By By ROBBIE BYRD
Mediacom, local cable TV service provider for Atmore, has announced that it will be increasing rates for most of its packages by $3, and eventually eliminating packages it currently offers.
The rate increase comes after Home Box Office announced that it will raise rates for cable access providers across the country.
Rates for the Broadcast Basic Rate will be increased to $7.71, while the Family Basic plan will increase to $39.95, from $36.95 according to Mediacom's sales department. Digital Access plans will also increase by $3. Mediacom's sales department does not expect an increase in cable modem internet access.
Any package containing HBO channels will also increase by $2 to offset the increase in HBO's programming fees according to Mediacom vice president David Kane.
Mediacom will also be eliminating it's Rainbow, Rainbow Gold and movies Gold packages. Beginning in January 2002, these packages are no longer availble to new customers. Current customers will be allowed to keep their current package, but Mediacom officials say this grace period will only be in effect for a short while.
The new plan for Mediacom packages is this: All subscribers will be given access to either the Broadcast Basic or Family Basic plan, and other movie plans and special interest packages will be added for an additional charge.
Mediacom also announced yesterday that it will be entering a joint venture with AT&T to improve it's cable modem interent access.
Mediacom's contract with @Home, it's current internet partner, ends Feb. 28. Kane hopes to have the AT&T partnership up and running before then, however.
At Monday's city council meeting, Mayor Howard Shell made the rate increase announcement which was met with groans from both the council members as well as the audience.
Councilman John Garrard was quick to remind everyone of Mediacom's recent additions to the city's cable system.
"They spent almost $1.25 million in improvements and upgrades last year," Garrard said.
However his comments didn't do much to lighten Shell.
"I think the city of Atmore should have gone into the cable business a long time ago," Shell said.
The City of Atmore and Mediacom are locked into an exclusive 15 year agreement, signed in 1999.
Questions regarding the rate increase should be directed to Mediacom's customer service center at 1-800-239-8411.