Cable rates up in March

Steamboat customers see bills increase about 4 percent

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Cable prices

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

— 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."

Comments

handyman 6 years ago

When we lived in another state, whenever we had cable outages, we'd call Comcast and bring it to their attention and we'd get a credit on our bill. Here in Steamboat, when we have cable outages, we get the finger. Even when it was well documented, ie, when a construction cut the main cable last year, we were without cable for an extended period. I'd bet that the construction company's insurance covered Comcast's loss, or Comcast's own insurance company covered the loss. Did we, the subscribers, get compensated? NO! We have a contract with Comcast and when they don't live up to their end of the contract, we should get compensated. Hey, Comcast, are you listening?!

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GuyOnABike 6 years ago

Similar problems from Waste Management. I'd switch to a different trash service in a heart beat if it were available to residents within the City.

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handyman 6 years ago

steamvent - Can I get internet through satellite? I need it for my job. We've considered switching because of Comcast's "Ma Bell" attitude.

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steamvent 6 years ago

There are numerous internet sources in Steamboat ... Zirkel Wireless among the best ... and NO down time!

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steamvent 6 years ago

handyman ... Your problem started with using cable in the first place. Make the switch to satellite and get over 100 HiDef channels and eliminate outages. The only time in ten years that we have ever had a lost signal is when there was a massive thunder cell right in line with the signal and that only lasted two minutes. Cable has thumbed their noses at the consumer in Steamboat forever. They have the exclusive with the City and no incentive to improve service. Take control by giving them the boot. When you have more quality viewable programing, especially with use of a DVR, the cost is insignificant, because you will go out less.

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QuitYerWhining 6 years ago

Just one more reason to turn off the idot box for good. We havent had TV for years and I dont know where I found the time to watch it....Kill your TV and expand your mind!

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handyman 6 years ago

QuitYerWhining - I agree. The idiot box eats your brain cells. Many moons ago, I told my 4 year old that if he sat too close to the tv, it would suck his brains out. He always had me draw a line on the carpet so that he didn't get too close. It made a lasting impression on that kid. Now, I cruise the internet. I suppose that it sucks my brains out, too.

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corduroy 6 years ago

Dish Network is great for TV. I haven't lived in a place in town that actually could get Comcast run to it, yet I get crap in the mail about it all the time. SpringSips does local high speed Internet as well, no down time :)

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cyberwedge 6 years ago

I would love nothing more than to dump Comcast for a Dish, but I live in a condo & have no line of site from my deck. We've had High Def Cable in Steamboat for more than three years now (I believe) & we STILL don't have any of the networks. We have crap like Altitude HD and Fox Sports rocky Mt. Between the two of them, they only offer about 10-15 hours of programming a week. We get less than half of the Av's & Nuggets games in HD. Wasting our HD bandwidth. I inquired at the local office about the networks, she just laughed and said "That's the million dollar question" Huh!? I've sent so many inquiries to Comcast and can't get a straight answer from anyone. Now my Cable bill has gone up & they claim it's for HD. Really? I'll believe that when I'm actually watching the Super Bowl in HD... sometime around 2010 I'd guess.....

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OnTheBusGus 6 years ago

Remember, you can't get the HD effect unless you have a HD TV. We just use the basic cable but rarely watch it, it's included in our rent. Zirkel is wonderful! We had comcrap before and Zirkel is much faster and more reliable. Price is fair and reasonable too! I often wonder, would the cable rates be lower if comcrap stopped all the advertising in the mailboxes?

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spukomy 6 years ago

We bundled with Qwest last Nov. Got the Direct TV dish, land line and high speed internet via phone, for the same price as we were paying before. Direct TV blows Comcast away. All the gear and set up is free. The only downside would be if you download a ton of stuff or play interactive online games.

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housepoor 6 years ago

when it comes to internet performance you can't beat Comcast, I would dump them if anyone could match it

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JazzSlave 6 years ago

Zirkel wireless is fine if you're in Steamboat proper. It's problematic if you're out in the county. I'm 12 miles west & up high enough that there's line-of-sight between my place & their tower. No go.

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