A year after raising rates, Comcast is raising rates again for Washington and Northern California subscribers – all 3.4 million of them.

WA and CA Comcast subscribers will see increases up to 10% on their August bill, depending on current services. And for what Comcast says is the first time in five years, broadband internet rates will increase by about $2 per month in CA and $3 in WA.

Comcast Spokesman Steve Kipp said,

“We continue to invest in next-generation technology to support new product features, more programming choices and improvements to customer service. These investments make it possible to deliver continued innovations such as more HD and On Demand choices, converged services, multi-platform content, faster Internet speeds and new services consumers want and value. As a result of these investments, combined with the increased cost of doing business and rising programming costs, the average customer bill will increase by 4 percent.”

The San Jose Mercury News raised a good point: consumer advocates have criticized the company for raising the basic rate by a higher percentage than other plans. “For most people, cable is the way they get their television,” said John M. Simpson of the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog.

“They ought to have some responsibility to make that basic service as affordable as possible.”

In Northern California, specifically San Jose, the following increases will take place:

Limited Basic Service will rise from $15.65 to $17.13 a month.
Digital Economy (TV only) will drop from $39.95 to $29.95 a month.
Digital Premier will rise from $66.95 to $69 a month.
Movie channels will go up from $18.99 to $19.99 a month.
Economy Internet (without TV or voice) will increase from $38.95 to $40.95.

In Washington, the following increases will take place:

Digital Starter, the most common package, rises from $57.45 to $60.99.

Broadband internet in WA will increase $3 per month, “to standardize our pricing with other Comcast regions around the country,” Kipp said via e-mail to the Seattle Times blog.

No other rate increases have been made public in WA – we have requested this information from Steve Kipp and will update once it becomes available.
One could imagine they would be similar to the CA increases.