Most cable bills in Lexington will go up after the first of the year.
Spectrum, the city’s largest cable provider, alerted Lexington city officials last week that monthly cable bills will go up soon.
In a Dec. 13 letter to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, a Charter official said “Charter faces rising costs that require occasional price adjustments.” The letter was from Jason Keller, director of government affairs for cable giant Charter Communications, which does business in Lexington as Spectrum.
It’s not clear when Spectrum customers will see the increase. A spokesman for Spectrum said the new rates will go into effect by late January.
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Gray said Thursday he was furious with the cable company for raising rates. The city has been inundated with complaints from Lexington residents about Spectrum’s poor customer service and unexpected rate hikes for more than a year.
“I’m outraged,” Gray said. “This is the second rate hike for Spectrum’s cable subscribers in a single year. And considering Spectrum’s record of poor customer service, it just confirms my decision to bring competition and more options to Lexington for cable TV services along with high-speed internet.”
When Spectrum merged with Time Warner, many customers complained deals that Time Warner had honored were no longer available under Spectrum. Many complained their cable bills went up with no or little explanation.
Under the proposed changes outlined in Keller’s letter, basic service will go from $15 to $20. Good Triple Play Premium will go from $129 to $139. Better Triple Play Plus or Triple Play Plus will go from $149 to $159. Best Triple Play Plus goes from $169 to $179.
Expanded basic service will go down from the current price of $54.99 to $49.99.
Customers will also pay more for special movie and sports cable packages and for some equipment such as a Spectrum receiver.
Mike Hogan, a spokesman for Spectrum, said there will be no rate increase for customers that only receive internet or phone services through Spectrum.
Spectrum customers are also getting faster internet speeds at no additional cost, Spectrum officials said.
Spectrum announced earlier this week that it was increasing its starting internet speed from 60 megabits per second to 100 megabits per second at no change in price. Spectrum Internet Ultra customers will also receive an automatic upgrade that will increase speeds from 100 megabits per second to 120 megabits per second also at no additional cost.
Customers who already have Spectrum internet will receive the faster speeds automatically. Most have already been upgraded, Spectrum officials said. Customers will not need to do anything to get the higher speeds, Spectrum officials said.
Spectrum is the largest cable provider in Lexington. The Lexington council approved a 10-year cable franchise agreement in early December for MetroNet, an Indiana-based company will built a fiberoptic network throughout Lexington. It will take three to four years for MetroNet to wire the interior of the urban service area. MetroNet will provide television and high-speed internet capable of delivering gigabit speed -- or moving data at 1,000 megabits per second.
Spectrum will increase most cable and other fees after Jan. 1
The changes are as follows:
Limited Basic TV service: Current price: $15 New Price: $20
Expanded Basic TV service: Current price: $54.99 New Price: $49.99
Spectrum Receiver: Current price: $5.99 New Price: $6.99
Broadcast TV Surcharge: Current price: $7.50 New Price: $8.85
DTA: Current price: $4.00 New Price: $4.99
Single DVR Service: Current price: $11.99 New Price: $12.99
Sports Pass: Current price: $10.00 New Price: $12.00
Movie Pass: Current price: $10.00 New Price: $12.00
Good Triple Play Premium/Triple Play Standard: Current price: $129.99 New Price: $139.99
Better Triple Play Plus/Triple Play Plus Current price: $149.99 New price: $159.99
Better Triple Play Plus/Triple Play Premium Current price: $169.99 New Price: $179.99
Source: Dec. 13 letter to Mayor Jim Gray from Spectrum