Average cable TV bill to drop $1 a month starting July 14


Many of Harford County's cable television subscribers can look forward to a drop of about $1 in their monthly cable bills starting July 14.

Comcast of Harford County, which has about 50,000 subscribers, has a monthly average bill of about $30. That will be about $29.

"Virtually every customer will see a rate decrease," said Comcast spokesman David Nevins.

The decrease is a result of action by the Federal Communications Commission, which started revising cable rates in 1992 because of concerns the rates were too high in areas like Harford County, where there was little or no competition.

Clearview CATV Inc., which serves residents in the northern end of the county, has fewer than 5,000 subscribers. The average monthly Clearview bill is about $21.

"Because Clearview is small and competes against a giant like Comcast Cable, the FCC rules exempted them," said Mary Kate Matanofki, a lawyer for the County Council.

The 1992 Cable Act generally said that many cable companies were monopolies charging whatever the market would bear. The FCC decided that companies in areas where there is little or no competition would have to reduce, by 17 percent, the prices they charged.

The cable companies have until July 14 to put the reduced rates into effect, Ms. Matanofki said.

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