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Some Charter Spectrum cable TV rates to rise

If you have Spectrum cable TV you will likely be seeing an increase in your monthly bill by next month.

The Broadcast TV surcharge will increase $2.95 a month from $13.50 to $16.45. Charter Spectrum says that increase reflects the costs incurred from local broadcast TV stations.

Customers with some of the company’s TV packages, like TV Gold, TV Silver and TV Select will see their bills increase $1.50 per month. Customers who have promotional packages may not see the incrase until the end of the promotion period.

Charter Spectrum Spokesperson Lara Pritchard released this statement:

"Spectrum is committed to continuously enhancing our communication products, providing customers value-driven, superior connectivity services. We are delivering faster broadband speeds and improved performance and reliability, all as the average price per megabit per second and gig consumed declines dramatically.

"Conversely, programmers annually raise programming fees to deliver the same content, leading to higher costs across the entire industry. The increase we are passing through to viewers is a direct result of these rising programming costs. Similarly, we will pass through any rebates we receive from the loss of live sports during COVID-19.”

There's also been controversy over Spectrum's efforts to incorporate data caps in its internet plans. Charter Spectrum has petitioned the FCC so that it can be released - two years earlier than planned - from conditions imposed by the FCC as part of its 2016 acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Charter Spectrum argues that seven of the top ten broadband providers in the country have incorporated data caps or some form of data usage policy in their offerings. Charter Spectrum says as data use skyrockets, the data cap artificially hurts the company’s efforts to allocate the cost of maintaining its network in a way that is efficient and fair for all of its customers.

Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart and a consumer advocacy group, Stop the Cap!, are urgning the FCC to reject the petition from Charter Spectrum.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.