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AT&T to Raise Cable Rates


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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

AT&T Broadband

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.

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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