When Time Warner Cable customers get their bills in early in 2016, they’ll see a bigger number than they’re used to.

The state’s largest provider of cable TV, phone and Internet services, with 380,000 customers in Maine, is raising its monthly rates, in the first quarter of the year.

The increases vary by service and rates for different services also vary by municipality. Time Warner said the increases would be similar statewide.

Time Warner began notifying customers this week.

A chart sent to the town of Cape Elizabeth on Wednesday showed that, while the rate for the 20-channel TV plan will only go up a penny, the TWC Movie Pass will cost $2 more a month.

New Internet prices, listed as $49.99 for basic service, also reflect a $2 increase.


Time Warner couldn’t give an example of increases for a basic package of TV, cable and phone.

Rates also increased last year, said company spokesperson Nathalie Burgos, but she wouldn’t compare those increases to this year’s because of the variations.

“Our new prices reflect our continued investment in the performance and reliability of our networks and equipment, along with the rapidly rising costs of programming, especially local broadcast channels and cable sports networks,” she said.

Phil Lindley, executive director of the ConnectME Authority, a state group that helps facilitate Internet access to residents, said a $2 increase didn’t sound like much, but that depends on how often there are increases. He wasn’t aware of Time Warner’s record for increasing rates.

Lindley noted the only way to regulate prices is through the franchise agreements between the company and individual municipalities and those are usually long-term agreements.

“There’s just not a lot of oversight or regulation of cable service and cable pricing,” he said.

Time Warner has rated poorly in consumer surveys and customer service reports.

The Manhattan-based company had been negotiating a merger with Comcast, but the deal between the country’s two biggest cable operators fell through this spring amid federal regulators’ concerns about competition.

Now Charter Communications Inc. wants to buy Time Warner.

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