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Time Warner set to increase rates

The new year will mean higher rates for people who get telephone, high-speed Internet and cable television service from Time Warner Cable.

In its latest bills to customers, the cable company said the new fees will go into effect Jan. 15. It said the increases were needed to cover higher costs for programming, investments in its transmission systems and the development of new technology.

Hikes vary depending on which services a customer subscribes to. For those with basic cable TV service, the increase from $14 to $15.50 is about 11 percent. Those with standard cable service will pay $57.45 monthly, up from $52.50, or a little less than 10 percent.

Time Warner Cable's most recent rate increase came last Feb. 1, when fees went up between 6.5 percent and 12 percent.

For those with bundled services, monthly rates will rise $7 for digital cable and Internet and $9 for digital cable, Internet and phone. Customers in special promotions, however, will not see a price increase on Jan. 15.

"They are going to continue to receive the price they are paying now," said local Time Warner Cable spokesman Matthew Tremblay, "but for most of our services there is a new adjusted price for 2011."

Tremblay said that as of Thursday evening there were no new developments in negotiations between the cable company and Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which owns WUTV Fox 29 and WNYO myTV.

The two companies have been haggling since June over how much money Time Warner Cable should pay Sinclair Broadcasting to carry its stations. Overall, Sinclair owns, operates or has other agreements with 58 stations in 35 markets.

If no agreement is reached by Jan. 1, the cable company will stop broadcasting Sinclair's stations, but says it will provide programs from the Fox Network, including "Glee," "American Idol" and NFL football games, via other sources.

e-mail: danderson@buffnews.com