Benjamin Franklin may have missed a regularly occurring event when he wrote, “In this world nothing can be said for certain, except death and taxes.
Meadville City Council has acknowledged receipt of a letter from Armstrong, the city’s only cable television provider, announcing the impending increase in monthly rates for consumers. Only the rates for video services will be increased, according to the letter. Prices for Internet and telephone services as well as equipment will remain the same.
The monthly cost of Armstrong’s Extended TV Service will increase by 8%, from $91.45 to $98.45. The entry-level service will increase by 12%, from $29.95 to $33.45 per month.
Increases of between 50 cents and $1.50 will also affect the many video packages that can be purchased on top of the entry-level service.
The letter, dated January 24, said similar letters would soon be sent to customers, with the increases evident on statements issued in March.
Board members did not comment on the letter or the impending increases at this week’s board meeting.
The city’s cable franchise agreement with Armstrong runs through Dec. 31, 2021, and is expected to earn the city $172,000 in revenue this year.
In the letter, Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Sammon assigned responsibility for the increases in the cost of doing business.
“As has been the case for the past several years,” he wrote, “the primary driver of this video price adjustment is the skyrocketing costs we have to pay for programming. Provider increases content and broadcasters continue to outpace inflation.
Sammon’s letter closely resembled similar letters from Sammon’s predecessors. Similar to the letter received last month, letters sent in 2017 and 2018 also cited “the skyrocketing costs we have to pay for programming” as the primary driver of rate increases. Online minutes of city council meetings indicate that council received similar letters in 2015 and 2016, although the minutes do not indicate whether these were also nearly identical to the one received this year.
“The products we offer remain competitively priced and cost less per month than similar offerings from most other similar service providers in the region,” Sammon wrote in the letter, echoing the sentiments almost verbatim. expressed by his predecessor in Armstrong’s 2018 advisory regarding an impending rate increase. .
Mike Crowley can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at [email protected]