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Time Warner Cable rates going up

Rates are going up for Time Warner Cable TV and Internet subscribers, with an average increase of 6.4 percent. The company has started notifying subscribers whose rates are going up immediately. There will also be changes in the charges for DVRs and digital cable boxes.

Company spokesperson Joli Plucknette-Farmen says 70 percent of the local customers are in some sort of package which will keep their rates from rising for a while, although they will eventually.

Plucknette-Farmen blames higher costs, especially for local stations.

"There are several factors that go into why we're making these changes, first and foremost the cost of programming. TV networks, especially local broadcast stations, are charging Time Warner Cable and other providers much more to bring customers their favorite channels. In fact, in 2013, our programming fees to carry local broadcasters increased by almost 40 percent," Plucknette-Farmer says.

To make clear to subscribers those costs exist, there will be a broadcast TV fee of $2.25 within the rate hike. The first higher bill payments are due March 19.

Plucknette-Farmen says Time Warner spends a lot of money on maintaining and improving its network to ensure reliability.

"In 2013, we invested $227 million in our network across the Northeast alone. That investment enables us to add the new content and the features that customers want and allows us to maintain the reliable and dependable services that customers deserve and have come to expect from us," she says.

The spokesperson says the rate increase has nothing to do with the $45 billion takeover of Time-Warner by Comcast.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.