Comcast Sees 6% Rate Hikes

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Comcast Corp. expects to raise rates for expanded-basic video services by about 6% next year, although customers who buy bundles of service are likely to see smaller increases.

The rate hike for expanded basic is about the same as the MSO’s 5.9% hike in 2005, Comcast spokeswoman Jenni Moyer said. There will be no rate increases for high-speed-Internet service or digital-voice service in 2006, she added.

Freezing those rates will lessen the blow for customers who take multiple services, which now number about 60% of Comcast’s total subscriber base. Moyer said customers who take more than one service from Comcast will see their bills rise 2.6%-4.3% in 2006.

The increases are necessary in part due to increased programming costs and rising investment in new services like telephony and expanded HDTV and video-on-demand offerings, the MSO said.

Comcast began rolling out voice service across its footprint this year, and the company expects it to be available to 15 million homes by year-end.

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