Cable One rates going up

PRESCOTT ­ The cost to watch cable television is increasing.

Dennis Edwards, general manager of Cable One in Yavapai County said the cable provider is increasing rates for the first time in two years.

"Our operating costs have increased from fuel to wages to insurance, you name it," he said. "Inflation has hit every business. Our programming costs continue to increase."

Effective May 1, subscribers are facing on average a 3.1-percent spike. Edwards explained that the exact dollar amounts of the increases vary depending on the services customers are using.

Edwards said basic cable is increasing $1 from $17.95 to $18.95 a month.

Broadband service will stay the same. However some equipment costs, such as modem leases, are increasing. Edwards said customers will receive a notice in their April statements.

Edwards said the cable provider's programming costs increased an average of 9.2 percent a year, according to a Cable One press release.

He said the expense of maintaining the cable system is also a factor in the rate increase.

Spiking cable rates are not exclusive to CableOne subscribers.

Cable providers began increasing their rates in December 2005, citing similar reasons like rising programming costs.

Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems Inc. and Cox Communications Inc. all implemented rate increases or planned an increase this year, according to an Associated Press story in December 2005.

CableOne is the cable division of The Washington Post Company and operates 52 cable systems serving 720,000 subscribers in 19 states.

Contact the reporter at jsoifer@prescottaz.com