Price changes for Steamboat Springs and Routt County
Basic cable: $14.29 to $15.99
Standard cable: $49.99 to $52.49
Digital cable starter: $50.99 to $53.49
Steamboat Springs Many Comcast customers saw their cable bills increase about 4 percent for March, which company officials attributed to added investment, faster Internet and more programming.
Regional spokeswoman Cindy Parsons said the costs were a result of more high-definition options and more services in Comcast's Colorado network.
Not all customers with high-definition packages get the same channels. It depends on negotiations with vendors who provide the signal, said a Comcast representative who gave his name only as Scott. He said the mountain areas have been slower to get high-definition stations. Steamboat customers don't get network TV stations in the format.
Parsons said 16 high-definition stations are available in Steamboat. Comcast plans to add more by summer, but Parsons could not say which stations would be included. As stations become available in Steamboat, customers who have high-definition packages will receive them at no extra charge, Parsons said.
Rates didn't increase for Internet service or for people who use multiple Comcast products, Parsons said.
She said the company also is putting money toward customer service and having more people available to assist subscribers on weekends.
Comcast is the only cable service available in Steamboat Springs.
Parsons said the cable company competes with satellite networks, not just other cable providers.
"There really are many choices for different viewing needs, many multichannel viewing choices," Parsons said. "Competition is alive and well."
Comcast has a franchise agreement with Steamboat, Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said. That means the company pays to use city rights-of-way for its infrastructure.
DuBord said the agreement gives Steamboat some control over safety, compliance with city laws, permits for excavation, franchise fees and how Comcast treats customers. The city also can use Comcast's infrastructure.
Steamboat has no control over rates, DuBord said.
The agreement was set in 1997 and extends through 2009, DuBord said.
The city also has franchise agreements with Atmos Energy and Yampa Valley Electric Association, she said.
"Franchises are not exclusive, so pretty much anyone who wishes to franchise with the city can request that," DuBord said. "It just so happens that Comcast is the only cable television franchisee within the city of Steamboat Springs."