Adelphia exec defends hike, looks ahead

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

Adelphia Cable's prices and services stack up well against the competition, as far as the Tri-State's new regional manager is concerned,

To the ire of some residents, Adelphia recently announced a rate increase for some of its digital customers but general manager Mark H. Ganley believes that the rate increase simply reflects the company's desire to offer the best product available.

"The increase was very minimal and didn't touch the basic rates," he said emphasizing that 60 percent of the company's customers will not see any increase. "The basic level of service that everyone subscribes to stayed the same."

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Adelphia's digital basic service will increase by 76 cents per month and the cost for the digital box will increase by $1. The top level of digital service that includes all the digital channels plus four premium channel services increased by $1.76 per month.

Most packages that include digital channels and high-speed Internet increased an average of 40 cents per month although the top level increased by $4.50 per month.

Adelphia continues to try to stay competitive with other providers in the industry that is rate-regulated by the Federal Communications Commission but where programming costs continue to escalate, Ganley said. He believes the company has done a good job of that.

"Adelphia is committed to providing the very best in home entertainment at the most reasonable rates," he said, adding that he wants to focus on the future not what the company has or has not done in the past. "We believe we offer first-class cable options that rivals pretty much anywhere Adelphia serves. And there is more to come."

Generally speaking, the per channel rates compared to the number of channels provided has decreased over the years, Ganley said.

The company already offers high-speed Internet, high-definition TV and video-on-demand. Adelphia may continue to look at new offerings in the future, he said.

Though unable to talk specifics, ESPN's new college sports channel is something that may be available in the area down the road, Ganley said.

Some residents were not thrilled by the latest hike after last year's increase of an average of a $3.25 per month and an average increase of $2.50 in 2003 and $2 hike in 2002.

"They keep nickling and diming us, trying to sneak it in on consumers," Coal Grove resident Howard Perkins said last week.

On the other side, the cable company has listened to complaints and tried to address them. The company returned WPBO to the lineup and added the popular Ohio News Network.

Still, the future remains somewhat uncertain because Adelphia Communications Corp remains for sale after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2002.