City Council Just says “No” to Frontier’s Service Rate Increase

The City Council will vote tonight, February 7th, on the resolution that was reviewed at Thursday’s work session.  If approved, the city will send a letter to Frontier expressing opposition to Frontier’s $30-per-month, nearly 50%, increase on its cable TV service and for abandoning its commitment to provide FIOS TV service.

In January, Frontier announced that it would be increasing its rates, citing rate hikes by the cable networks. However, one of its competitors, Comcast, has not increased rates by that same amount. Frontier’s increase begins immediately for new customers, and in February for existing customers without a service contract.

As an incentive to leave cable, Frontier is offering its customers an opportunity to switch to DirecTV Service free for the rest of 2011.

The switch to DirecTV, a satellite provider, means that cities such as Mountlake Terrace cannot collect franchise fees or education/government fees from the television services provided, which is currently estimated at $53,000 annually. Unfortunately, there is little legal recourse against Frontier, because under federal law, cities lack the authority to regulate rates.

Frontier indicates that it will not be raising rates for its phone service or FiOS Internet service at this time.

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