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Antietam Cable will hike rates

June 06, 1997

By VANDANA SINHA

Staff Writer

Antietam Cable Television customers will have to pay $10.20 more per year for their standard basic cable service starting July 1.

Due to inflation and rising cable network costs, President and General Manager Gene Hager announced an 85 cents, or 4 percent, hike in Antietam Cable's standard basic service per month.

"We have to pay for the programs we offer," company spokeswoman Cindy Garland said. "If we have program providers increasing costs, then there's only so much we can absorb before we have to pass it along. It's just the cost of doing business."

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This increase will not affect fees for limited basic services, premium services or converters, Hager wrote in a letter to the company's 34,000 customers across Washington County.

"We are really committed to trying to offer the best value for the channels and service that we provide here," Garland said. "We look long and hard before we have to increase rates. It's not anything we take lightly."

This is considerably higher than Antietam's last raise of 59 cents in standard basic service monthly fees, which was effective Feb. 1, 1996.

That year, however, the company also had boosted limited basic service monthly fees by 39 cents and premium and pay-per-view capable converter fees by 11 cents - none of which Garland said would occur this year.

In the past two years, the overall monthly standard basic cable rates have climbed from $11.18 to $12.62. But Garland said that Antietam Cable's costs still "are among the lowest, if not the lowest, in the area - I can guarantee you that."

She also said the company has kept fees well below the national average, which is about $25 for both limited basic and standard basic cable services.

Standard basic service includes 54 channels that the company receives from satellite.

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