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By JOY DAVIS-PLATT
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000
Customers of Time Warner Communications cable television in Hernando County can look forward to a New Year's present: an increase in basic and extended basic fees, as well as the monthly charge for an addressable converter box.
"Because of rising programming, maintenance and administrative costs, and continued investments in customer service and system technology, the company (will) introduce new prices beginning in January 2001," a news release said.
Limited basic cable will go from $8.70 a month to $9.95 a month. Preferred Value Package, formerly known as extended basic, will go from $37.37 to $39.25 a month, said Linda Chambers, spokeswoman for Time Warner.
The cost for the converter box will increase to $5.45 a month.
There will be no price increase for premium services, which are available at $13.95 per month each. The price for the high-speed Road Runner Internet connection will remain $39.95 per month. The Hernando County Commission can't do anything about cable rates, which were deregulated by the federal government.
In December, Time Warner installed new fiber-optic cable that provides customers the ability to receive up to 200 channels and purchase the high-speed Internet access engine Road Runner.
"There are a number of factors that influence a rate adjustment," said Chambers, who is the company's vice president of business affairs. "In all, I still think the service we offer is a very good deal."
In part, rate increases stem from higher costs in programming from channels such as ESPN, Sports Channel Florida and the Discovery Channel, all of which are in the standard package, Chambers said.