Citing an increase in the number of customers going online to watch movies, exchange large files and such, Buckeye Express — operated by Buckeye CableSystem — has ratcheted up its rates.
“Internet usage has skyrocketed,” said Patrick Deville, president of Erie County Cablevision, which is part of Buckeye CableSystem. “We tried to keep up with demand.”
The company upped its rates to account for additional use in bandwidth, Deville said, with the typical customer now paying about $7 more per month.
The cheapest service available increased $3, Deville said.
The increase has frustrated local customers such as Matt Johnson, who runs Akro, an educational services business, out of his home. When Johnson moved to Huron about a year ago, he signed up with Buckeye CableSystem. Like most customers, he picked up a bundle package of Internet, phone and cable.
Now, he can’t tell how much his rate is increasing — he said it appears to be anywhere from $5 to $10.
“They don’t explain it,” Johnson said. “I’m not sure.” Buckeye CableSystem’s stance: It’s not cheap to provide this service. The company remains competitive with most other Internet providers, such as AT&T in Sandusky or Frontier Communications in the Huron area, Deville said.
Johnson said he’s frustrated he doesn’t have an alternative.
“Buckeye Cable was the only real choice,” he said. “I came from Akron, where there were three to four different choices.”
Florentino DeLaguna is another frustrated Buckeye CableSystem customer. He works out of his home repairing computer systems remotely, a task requiring heavy Internet use. He has relied on Buckeye CableSystem for three years, he said, but sometimes he gets hit with additional charges when he exceeds his contract limitations.
“They charge me another $10 for going over,” DeLaguna said. “If I had another option, I would go over it.”