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Cable-TV changes not likely for a while |

Cable-TV changes not likely for a while

| Friday, December 21, 2001 12:00 a.m

AT&T cable-TV customers should not expect to see changes in service or rates “for quite some time” as a result of the company’s planned merger with Comcast, an AT&T Broadband spokesman said.

The two companies announced a deal late Wednesday valued at about $52 billion that will create the AT&T Comcast Corp. The deal is expected to be complete at the end of 2002.

In the meantime, AT&T customers will not see changes in billing, programming or services as a result of the agreement, according to company spokesman Dan Garfinkle.

A Comcast spokesman did not return calls for comment.

AT&T Broadband will raise rates in the Valley in 2002 but only as part of an increase announced last month.

To offset programming costs, AT&T is raising rates on the average of 4.2 percent. The hike is the second in as many years. The company raised rates in 2000 about 5 percent.

Comcast was the Valley’s largest cable provider until Dec. 31, 2000, when it swapped a number of it properties – including its interest in the Valley – with AT&T.

The deal upset many Valley residents because it meant the loss of local programming, but AT&T later allowed school districts to air sporting events that the districts taped themselves.

When the merger is complete, the new company will have about 22.3 million subscribers.

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