FPU cable, net rates to increase

Citing a combination of increasing costs of cable programming and increasing costs of upgrading its Internet bandwidth, Fayetteville Public Utilities announced last week that its rates for cable television and high-speed Internet services will increase effective July 1, 2010.


“From the beginning, our cable TV and Internet services have been offered to our customers as a non-profit venture,” says Britt Dye, Fayetteville Public Utilities’ CEO and General Manager. “Any margin in revenue is reinvested into the telecommunications department to expand our service area and upgrade equipment to enhance service quality.”


“Over the past year, we received notification from the cable networks about increased programming costs,” says Dye. “We have also seen an increased user demand for our Internet service, requiring us to add more bandwidth to maintain service speeds for our customers. In addressing these increased costs, we’ve made adjustments internally in the telecom department to cut costs where we could without affecting service quality.  With our ability to cut costs of operations and in other areas, we have been able to reduce the amount of the total increase so that our subscribers will not receive the full amount of the increase from the cable networks.”


Current FPU telecommunications customers should receive notification by direct mail concerning the rate increase.  Rate adjustments will affect the following as of July 1: Budget Basic - $21.36; Basic Plus - $49.94; Basic Digital Package - $63.90; Digital DVR Package - $68.90; Digital HD Package - $68.90; and Complete Digital HD/DVR Package - $71.21. Internet rates will also increase in all levels of service. Effective July 1, Internet rates will be as follows: 3 meg - $39.45; 5 meg - $58.55; and 10 meg - $71.28.


FPU’s premium movie channels are not affected by the telecom rate increase, nor are prices for the digital phone service.  


“We do all within our power to continue providing quality, dependable service at affordable prices to all our customers,” Dye says. “We continue to cut costs in the telecom department, as well as other Fayetteville Public Utilities departments, in order to maintain affordable rates for our customers without decreasing the level of service you receive. We will continue to operate our telecom department in this manner – responsibly and always in the best interest of our customers.”


FPU’s telecommunication services were launched in May 2000. In July 2009, the utility added digital phone service. FPU now provides telecom services to over 3,300 customers.