Comcast Cable Rates Increase This Month By 4.1 Percent

Kirstin Maguire

By Kirstin MaguireThe Daily Northwestern

Beginning this month, Comcast customers in Evanston can expect a 4.1 percent increase in their bill on average, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

Students who live off campus are not exempt from this price increase unless they live in a Northwestern-owned building.

“Basically, if you pay a Comcast bill, then you’re not in a Northwestern-owned building, and you will have an increase,” said Angelynne Amores, a spokeswoman for Comcast.

Evanston City Council members expressed displeasure with the price hike after Comcast notified the city, but beyond basic cable the city can’t regulate how much money the company demands from its customers.

The price increase is for cable services. Comcast is not raising the prices for high-speed Internet or for phone services. Amores did not know if Comcast prices would increase again next year.

“The price increase looks at all three products for the average customer, including video, high-speed Internet and phone,” Amores said. “The average customer takes multiple products from us. This price adjustment reflects an increased value in services and a $450 million investment to advance products and services.”

Comcast has added about 4,000 customer service representatives. The company also plans on adding more local and exclusive content to video its ON DEMAND service, she said.

“It’s really about improving the delivery of services,” Amores said.

Weinberg junior Kirsten Stahlberg hasn’t seen an improvement in the services and quality the company provides her.

“Comcast is also my Internet service and it’s horrible,” Stahlberg said. “It’s constantly breaking in and out. I used to like it until recently, but quality has gone down and rates have gone up.

“Comcast in general is pretty ridiculous for college students,” she said. “It’s not affordable for ON DEMAND, and that’s the best thing about Comcast cable.”

Still, Stahlberg doesn’t plan on switching to another company because of the hassle. AT&T is Comcast’s only large competitor, Amores said. Because of the lack of alternatives, students seem willing to stay with Comcast, despite price increases.

“While it’s upsetting that rates at Comcast are increasing, I have few, if any, other options that allow me to access cable and Internet,” said Weinberg junior Chas Schlaack. “So, I guess I’ll pay.”

Reach Kirstin Maguire at [email protected]