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Corrected: Massachusetts Mad: Comcast Blasted for Rate Increases from Springfield to Boston

Courtesy: WCVB Boston

Correction: In an effort to concatenate two stories regarding Springfield, we erred in reporting about Springfield’s move to sell its municipal cable operation to Knology.  That story referred to Springfield, Fla., not Springfield, Mass.  We appreciate one of our readers bringing this to our attention, and we regret the error. –PMD

Comcast customers in Massachusetts are hopping mad over the latest round of rate increases from the state’s largest cable operator — the second in 10 months in some areas.  Higher cable bills for customers will start arriving by early spring.

City officials in Boston expect eastern Massachusetts customers will face up to 2.9% more for basic service this spring.  In western Massachusetts, Springfield city officials finally resolved a prolonged legal battle with the cable operator and granted the company a 10-year franchise renewal that preserves senior discounts for existing customers.

Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino said an examination of Comcast’s cable rates over the past few years proves deregulation “has failed” consumers across greater Boston.  Menino says basic cable rates have increased by 80 percent in the three years since the city’s rate control agreement expired.

Menino wants restored authority to regulate cable rates, and has asked the FCC for permission to bring back the city’s oversight powers.

[flv width=”480″ height=”290″]http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/WCVB Boston Cable Rates Going Up For Some Customers 1-17-12.mp4[/flv]

WCVB in Boston talks with city mayor Tom Menino about the latest round of rate increases for Comcast customers.  Some Boston locals are responding by dumping cable television altogether.  (2 minutes)

Comcast basic service will rise another 4.9 percent this spring, bringing the mostly local-broadcast-channel cable service to $16.58 a month.

The only other major cable provider in Boston, RCN, which serves mostly apartment buildings and other multi-dwelling units, is not planning to increase its prices on the lowest price tier. However, RCN already charges more than Comcast — $17.50 — for comparable service.  Other RCN customers face general rate increases this spring.

Verizon says it has no plans to increase prices in Boston either.  That statement was deemed ironic by some, considering the fact the phone company has never provided FiOS fiber-to-the-home cable service inside the city of Boston.

All affected providers blame increasing programming costs for the rate hikes.

[flv width=”480″ height=”290″]http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/WGGB Springfield Cable Rates Going Up 1-18-12.mp4[/flv]

WGGB in Springfield led a recent evening newscast with news Comcast and competing satellite providers are increasing rates in western Massachusetts, with local residents increasingly questioning the value of their cable-TV services.  (2 minutes)

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PISSEDOFF
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PISSEDOFF

FOR 3 YEARS I HAVE BEEN HACKED OVERCHARGED THEFT OF A SERVICE ALL BECAUSE COMCAST WAS MONOPOLIZED IN MEDFORD & SOMERVILLE NOW IM TOLD AFTER COMPLAINING THAT 5 YEARS AGO I DID NOT PAY $200 IN ANOTHER CITY 3 YEARS & I GET TOLD THIS AFTER COMPLAINING??WELL THE MONOPOLIZING STOPPED FOR REGULAR PEOPLE NOT CITY OWNED PROPERTY ?? IS MONOPOLIZING NOT ILEAGEL F.I.O.S I ASKED MANY RELATIVES HAS NEVER OVERCHARGED TRUMPED UP BILLS CRAPPY SERVICE?THAT’S WHY YOU NEED A COMPETITOR & UNTIL YOU GET 1 YOU TAKE WHAT YOUR GIVEN ..I BOW TO YOU POLITICAL MASTERS,YOU’VE PROVEN YOU CANT FIGHT… Read more »

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