The Comcast Merger Isn’t About Lines On A Map; It’s About Controlling The Delivery Of Information

(knight725)

Comcast and proposed merger partner Time Warner Cable claim they don’t compete because their service areas don’t overlap, and that a combined company would happily divest itself of a few million customers to keeps its pay-TV market share below 30%, allowing other companies that don’t currently compete with Comcast to keep not competing with Comcast. This narrow, shortsighted view fails to take into account the full breadth of what’s involved in this merger — broadcast TV, cable TV, network technology, in-home technology, access to the Internet, and much more. In addition to asking whether or not regulators should permit Comcast to add 10-12 million customers, there is a more important question at the core of this deal: Should Comcast be allowed to control both what content you consume and how you get to consume it? [More]

Comcast Officially Files for TWC Merger, Claims Broadband Competition Is Fine Because You Have A Smartphone

Comcast Officially Files for TWC Merger, Claims Broadband Competition Is Fine Because You Have A Smartphone

It’s a big day for Comcast: not only did they win a big old golden poo this morning, but also they formally took the first step in the regulatory dance that stands between them and their purchase of Time Warner Cable by filing a mountain of paperwork with the FCC. The massive document contains all of Comcast’s explanations for why the merger is the best idea ever… and it’s a doozy. Let’s take a closer look at their arguments, shall we? [More]

How Comcast Uses Low-Income Families To Look Good For Regulators

How Comcast Uses Low-Income Families To Look Good For Regulators

Back in 2011, Comcast launched a program to help low-income families. The program, Comcast Internet Essentials, lets certain families enroll in 5 MBps broadband for $10 a month. In timing that was completely coincidental we’re sure, shortly after announcing their plan to buy Time Warner Cable, Comcast announced an indefinite extension to the program. [More]

It’s Not Just You: Pretty Much Everyone Hates Their TV & Internet Providers, Survey Finds

It’s Not Just You: Pretty Much Everyone Hates Their TV & Internet Providers, Survey Finds

If you’ve got problems with the company providing your TV and broadband service, you are most definitely not alone. Our siblings over at Consumer Reports ran a national survey to find out how satisfied with their cable and internet providers subscribers really are. And the findings won’t surprise most Consumerist readers: when it comes to their telecom providers, most consumers are a lot less than pleased. [More]

Don’t Count On Verizon FiOS Coming To Your Town Anytime Soon

Don’t Count On Verizon FiOS Coming To Your Town Anytime Soon

While supporters of the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger have pointed to the existence of competing Verizon FiOS service in certain markets as proof that there is indeed competition for broadband service (which there isn’t), the fact is that this fiber service isn’t going to be popping up in new markets in the foreseeable future. [More]

Sprint Owner May Push T-Mobile Merger As Broadband Competition Solution

Sprint Owner May Push T-Mobile Merger As Broadband Competition Solution

Since taking a controlling ownership in Sprint, Japanese telecom company SoftBank has made no attempt to hide the lust it has in its heart for fellow wireless company T-Mobile USA. Since then, federal regulators have basically told SoftBank to put its ardor on ice because there is already too little competition in the wireless market. But SoftBank may have a trick up its sleeve, coming at the deal through the lens of a market that is even less competitive — broadband. [More]

Here’s What Lack Of Broadband Competition Looks Like In Map Form

Here’s What Lack Of Broadband Competition Looks Like In Map Form

When announcing Comcast’s intention to buy Time Warner Cable, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts called cable a “highly competitive and dynamic marketplace.” Dynamic it might be, but competitive it isn’t. Most of us live a local monopoly, cable-wise: it might be a Comcast city or a Time Warner town, but we don’t have that much choice with our providers. And those companies also, hugely, provide our broadband access. So what does 75% reach or a 15% market share really look like, to a city and the people in it? [More]

Pew Research Internet Project, Cell Internet Use Study of 2013

The Future Will Not Be Televised: Comcast’s Merger Plans Are All About Broadband

Comcast and Time Warner Cable are cable companies: they run their wires to little boxes in our living rooms so we can watch Mad Men and Game of Thrones. But even though roughly 100 million Americans subscribe to paid TV, that’s not what the merger between the two companies is about. The future of entertainment is online, and that access is what’s really at stake in the proposed merger deal. [More]

(afagen)

White House Wants FCC To Support Net Neutrality, Won’t Order It To Reclassify Broadband ISPs

The White House today issued a response to a petition asking the Obama administration to intervene with the FCC to preserve net neutrality. Although the response “reaffirms” and “strongly supports” the administration’s commitment to net neutrality, that support does not extend to telling the FCC what to do. [More]

Data Caps Are The Devil For Residents Of Rural Alaskan Towns; Are They In Our Future?

Data Caps Are The Devil For Residents Of Rural Alaskan Towns; Are They In Our Future?

What if you weren’t able to binge watch House of Cards on Netflix earlier this week? It would be agony, right? For residents in some rural areas of Alaska the ability to binge watch their favorite shows, or enjoy that viral video online, quickly drain their pocketbooks thanks to data caps. [More]

Two Big Reasons The Comcast And Time Warner Cable Deal Is Bad For Consumers

Two Big Reasons The Comcast And Time Warner Cable Deal Is Bad For Consumers

Yesterday, Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced a $45 billion merger deal. Consumer advocacy groups (and consumers) were less than thrilled about Comcast’s big news, and ardently called on the FCC and the Justice Department to alter or prevent the buyout. [More]

Data from Netflix's ISP rankings, comparing 12-month period from Feb 2014 to Feb 2014.

Netflix Streaming Speeds Getting Worse For Comcast and Verizon FiOS Customers

Do you have broadband internet? Do you like to watch streaming movies and TV on Netflix? If so, great news: your connection to Netflix is getting faster! Unless, of course, you happen to be one of the tens of millions of Americans who use Comcast or Verizon FiOS for internet access at home, in which case it’s completely the opposite. [More]

(Discrete_Photography)

Kansas Cable Lobbyists Deny Hatred Of Google Fiber, Will “Tweak” Restrictive Bill Language

Cable lobbyists seem to be buckling under the pressure of consumer unrest in Kansas. Last week, the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association announced a protectionist bill that would all but squash some city’s hopes of getting improved broadband service. [More]

(Discrete_Photography)

Kansas Legislature Wants To Stop Any Other Kansas Cities From Getting Google Fiber

The Kansas state legislature is currently considering a bill that would prohibit municipalities in that state from building out their own municipal broadband networks. Completely coincidentally of course we’re sure, Kansas City is home to the country’s first Google Fiber municipal network. [More]

U.S. Consumers Paying More, Getting Less For Internet Than Europe & Asia

U.S. Consumers Paying More, Getting Less For Internet Than Europe & Asia

While numerous telecoms in Europe and Asia are acknowledging that it’s becoming cheaper and easier to provide TV and high-speed Internet service to consumers, many U.S. providers are continuing to charge high prices for a mediocre product, according to a new report from the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. [More]

NetIndex stats have the U.S. ranked 21st in the world in broadband quality.

Comcast VP Says U.S. Isn’t Falling Behind Rest Of World In Broadband, Probably Can’t Read Graphs

Companies like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable talk about delivering “blazing fast speeds” via their broadband services, but critics have long held that the U.S. is falling behind other developed nations in providing high-speed Internet access to consumers. A Comcast VP says this is all a misunderstanding, because she apparently doesn’t know how to read. [More]

(Click to enlarge)

Comcast Offers Broadband So Fast, The Promotional Price Ends 6 Months Early

Where are six months and twelve months basically the same thing? At Comcast, of course. The cable company/ISP/overlords of all media want to show us all that they have a poor grasp on math. We can laugh it up all we want, but the joke’s really on reader Bubbicito. It doesn’t matter how confusing he finds the deals in Kabletown, because he doesn’t have any other choices for high-speed broadband. He can still vent at Consumerist, though. [More]

(frankieleon)

Bill That Would Have Banned Public Broadband In Georgia Has Failed

Remember that legislation in Georgia that would have forbidden municipalities from building public broadband networks if just a single person in a census block already had access to a so-so DSL connection? The lawmakers have voted — and said thank but no thanks. [More]