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Brasher supervisor upset with Time Warner Cable increases

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BRASHER FALLS - Time Warner Cable’s recent announcement that rates will be rising in March has raised the ire of one local official.

“Time Warner Cable is again increasing their fees. It’s time to get Dish Network, boys and girls. They’ve raised their rates twice in the last six months,” Brasher Town Supervisor M. James Dawson said.

Time Warner Cable recently announced that monthly bills will increase starting in March because of a spate of increases, largely increased programming costs in 2013 for local broadcast stations and sports programming.

The monthly broadcast cable charge will increase from $11.75 to $13.49, while standard cable will jump from $77.45 to $79.99. Digital television packages will be increased by about $3 each.

The across-the-board increases will affect all Time Warner customers except those enrolled in promotional programs. They will continue to receive discounted prices for the duration of those periods before the increased prices kick in.

Time Warner officials had already announced in the fall that they were implementing a $3.95 monthly rental fee for customers who own cable modems. Postcards were sent to customers in the mail only weeks before the change was implemented in October, and they were advised to purchase their own modems if they wished to avoid the fee.

Time Warner Cable Central New York spokeswoman Stephanie Salanger had said earlier that customers would see an average increase of 2.5 percent on their bills in March.

“We’re held captive to the programmers, and these costs represent almost half of every dollar that a customer would spend on TV services,” she said. “Content providers who sell us programming for customers have a dramatically higher program charge every year, and that represents almost all of the increases.”

But Mr. Dawson said he’s tired of the increases, no matter what is causing them.

“We’ve had a substantial increase. They say the average bill will increase by 2.5 percent,” Mr. Dawson said. “I’m not very happy with this. They keep saying program costs are increasing. We’ll be paying twice as much for cable bill than we are for our electric bill.”

He suggested many Time Warner Cable customers weren’t subscribing to cable, but would still pay more because of the need to pay a monthly rental fee for a cable modem, although customers have an option to purchase a compatible modem.

“A lot of folks really go with them because of Road Runner,” he said.

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