Comcast, AT&T customers to see some rate hikes

Some Chattanooga area cable TV and Internet providers are upping their rates on services, starting within the next couple of weeks.

Cable, Internet rates

Comcast (monthly): Broadcast TV fee: $4.75, up $1.50 ' Limited Basic: $11.05, up 20 cents ' Digital Preferred: $78.90, up 70 cents ' Xfinity Internet (with Xfinity TV or voice): $61.95, up $5 AT&T (monthly) ' AT&T U-Verse: most customers will see $4 to $6 rate increase Source: Comcast, AT&T

Some Chattanooga area cable TV and Internet providers are upping their rates on services, starting within the next couple of weeks.

Comcast's price increases for cable TV packages in the area are largely driven by a 46 percent jump in its broadcast TV fee from $3.25 to $4.75 a month.

When the fee is included, hikes for TV packages range from 12 percent for Chattanoogans buying Comcast's limited service, its most basic, to 2.7 percent for its digital preferred package, one of its most popular.

The changes are effective Feb. 1.

The broadcast TV fee has to do with how much Comcast and other cable operators get charged to carry the signals of broadcast stations such as CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox. Comcast's broadcast fee has gone from $1.50 in 2014 to the $4.75 mark.

Sara Jo Houghland Walker, director of public relations for Comcast South, said the cost to deliver programming continues to increase significantly, especially broadcast television and sports programming, which are the largest drivers of increases in price adjustments.

"We continue to make investments in our network and technology to give customers more for their money," she said.

EPB, meanwhile, is planning no rate increases in its TV or Internet services this year, said spokesman John Pless.

"There will be no increase in fiber services in 2016," Pless said. Also, he said, plans are to continue to offer Internet service with no data cap this year.

Most AT&T U-Verse customers will see monthly increases of $4 to $6 depending on their packages starting Jan. 28, said Cathy Lewandowski, senior public relations manager for AT&T Corporate Communications.

The price hikes reflect increases in content and business costs, she said, including programming, service improvements, and technology enhancements.

"Programming costs constitute a significant portion of the costs that we and you pay," Lewandowski said. "These adjustments to our package prices are significantly lower than the increases our programmers are charging for their content."

Meanwhile, Comcast also is increasing some Xfinity Internet charges, going from $56.95 to $61.95 monthly when coupled with Xfinity TV or voice service. That's up 8.7 percent. Its performance starter Internet is unchanged at $49.95.

The charge for a voice/data modem is going up from $9 to $10 a month, according to Comcast.

Walker said that Comcast's breaking out of the broadcast TV fee is an effort to be more transparent with customers.

According to Comcast, broadcast fees have more than doubled in recent years.

When the broadcast fee isn't included, Comcast's limited service rate is up 1.8 percent in Chattanooga.

Comcast is the nation's biggest cable provider. In the Chattanooga area it services customers in parts of Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.

According to NBC News, the average cable bill nationally is about $99 a month, up about 8 percent a year since 2010. But, it said, the increasing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon is contributing to an erosion of cable TV.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.