Century Southwest Cable Television, which has been under fire in several communities for its recent 13% rate increase, has agreed to grant a 30% discount to subscribers in Beverly Hills who are senior citizens on limited fixed incomes.
Century is also implementing a system of discounts for low-income residents in West Hollywood and Santa Monica.
In Beverly Hills, members of the City Council applauded and cheered at their Tuesday evening meeting when Fred C. Cunningham, the city’s executive director for public affairs and information, announced the news.
“We are the first city (to receive the discount), but Century will be working with other cities on similar agreements,” Cunningham said. Eligibility for the discount will be determined by the city.
The basic rate for cable service in Beverly Hills will increase Dec. 1 from $22 to $24.95 a month.
Bill Rosendahl, vice president of Century Communications, which owns Century Southwest, said: “We believe our rates are affordable overall, but we appreciate that in this period of recession some people are in difficult straits. We want to be sensitive to this and make cable affordable to everyone in the service area, including the economically disadvantaged.”
Rosendahl said a separate agreement is being implemented in West Hollywood, where the city identifies disabled cable subscribers and other users in financial need and grants them a reduction from the $22.95 basic cable rate, to $11.95. Both rates will increase $2 on Dec. 1.
Century also announced Tuesday that Santa Monica residents who are already exempt from the city’s 9.5% utility tax because of financial need will receive a rate freeze from Century.