will begin increasing cable rates an average of 4.8% because of the rising cost of providing service and other upgrades to the company's equipment.
The phone and cable company said its
unit started alerting customers and local franchising authorities of the price increase today. Customers who receive standard cable will experience a 4.3% rate hike. These subscribers represent 63% of the company's customers. Subscribers whose channel lineups have expanded by three or more channels, and represent 11% of the company's customers, will see a 6.55% increase.
Some systems will increase installation and equipment prices in February, but most will change later in the year in accordance with
Federal Communications Commission
guidelines. AT&T said the fees it pays to acquire the rights to distribute programming will increase by 10% in 2001, mostly for sports programming.
Separately, AT&T said it closed a $25 billion syndicated bank facility, but the company has no current plans to borrow against the credit line.
Shares of AT&T rose 56 cents, or 3.3%, to $17.81 in recent
New York Stock Exchange