Comcast, AT&T U-Verse rates to increase
CHAMPAIGN — Area Comcast customers can expect a boost in their monthly bills beginning Jan. 18, and subscribers to some AT&T U-Verse services will see rates go up Feb. 1.
Comcast customers with expanded basic service (channels 2 to 69, plus additional three-digit channels) will see rates rise from $48.09 to $50.76 a month, an increase of 5.6 percent.
Those with Comcast's digital preferred package (channels 2 to 69, plus a much broader array of three-digit channels) will see rates jump from $76.90 to $81.90 a month, an increase of 6.5 percent.
Those with limited basic service (channels 2 to 22, plus a limited array of three-digit channels) will see rates surge from $11.86 to $13.19 a month, an increase of 11.2 percent.
The last time Comcast increased its rates was March 1, 2011 — less than 11 months ago. At that time, there was no increase in the price of limited basic service.
Jack Segal, Comcast's vice president of public relations in the greater Chicago region, said the cost of providing service has gone up.
In particular, "sports programming costs have been rising quickly, compared with other programming and content," he said.
Segal said Comcast has made "significant investments" in technology and new products and services, such as iPod, iPad and mobile applications. The company has also expanded the amount of on-demand content it is offering.
Segal said the new price increases won't affect those who signed on for special promotional offers — until those offers run out.
"More than 50 percent of our customers are on promotional pricing, and the changes in prices don't affect them," he said.
Rates will rise not only for Comcast video services, but also for bundles that include video, phone and Internet services.
For example, the Starter XF Triple Play Bundle will increase from $129.99 to $139.95 a month, an increase of 7.7 percent.
A full listing of Comcast rate and fee changes can be found at the city of Urbana's website.
Meanwhile, AT&T has notified the city of Champaign that the monthly price of some AT&T U-verse services will change.
The charge for U-basic service (local channels only) will remain unchanged at $19 a month.
But the charges for U-family (up to 130 channels) and U-100 (up to 210 channels) will rise $5 a month, to $59 and $64, respectively.
Among other changes:
— The charge for U-200 (up to 270 channels) will rise from $69 to $72.
— The rate for U-300 (up to 360 channels) will jump from $84 to $87.
— The price for U-450 (up to 430 channels) will go from $117 to $119.