FPU raises telecom rates July 1

As a result of increasing costs of providing cable programming and the cost associated with upgrading bandwidth to meet customer demand, increasing system reliability and adding redundancy to provide continuous service to telecom customers, Fayetteville Public Utilities announced last week that rates for cable television and high-speed Internet services will increase effective July 1.

Budgeted cable programming costs are increasing 7.44 percent in the upcoming fiscal year, and budgeted Internet costs from FPU’s primary provider are increasing 8.13 percent.

“Although our costs of providing service are increasing, FPU continues to become more efficient in the way we conduct business so we don’t have to pass along the total cost increase to our customers,” says Britt Dye, FPU’s CEO and general manager.   

Along with increased operations costs, FPU has also seen an increased user demand for Internet and digital phone services requiring the utility to add more bandwidth and upgrade equipment to maintain service speeds and reliability over the past year. This upgrade has given FPU an opportunity to create an upgrade package for its high-speed Internet service which will be available in early fall.

FPU currently offers internet speeds of 3 meg, 5 meg and 10 meg. In the fall, FPU’s Internet service will offer packages for 13 meg, 15 meg and 17 meg speeds for those customers wishing to upgrade their Internet and email services.

“We remain committed to controlling our rates while providing quality, dependable service at affordable prices to all our customers,” says Dye.

FPU’s cable rate adjustments will affect the following as of July 1: Budget Basic increases by $1 to be $25.51 and Basic Plus increases by $1.92 to be $56.67.

FPU Internet rates will increase in all levels of service by $1. Effective July 1, FPU’s Internet rates will be as follows: 3 meg service will be $41.99; 5 meg service increases to $61.99; and 10 meg service increases to $74.59.  FPU’s Internet service provides 3 meg service at burstible speeds up to 1.5 meg, 5 meg service at 2.5 meg burstible speeds, and 10 meg service at 5 meg burstible speeds. The burstible speeds are for both uploads and downloads.

FPU’s premium movie channels, digital and high-definition channels are not affected by the telecom rate increase, nor are prices for FPU’s digital phone service, telecom equipment leases or service fees. 

Current FPU telecommunications customers will receive notification by direct mail concerning the rate increase.

“The service we offer is second to none in the telecommunications business,” says Dye.  “We continue to offer 24/7 emergency repair and customer service and support to our subscribers. 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 2001. In July 2009, the utility added digital phone service. FPU now provides telecom services to 3,373 customers.