(frankieleon)

Media Companies Afraid To Show FCC Their Comcast Contracts Because Rivals Might Learn Their Secrets

It’s no secret that media companies are pretty worried about the repercussions of letting Comcast and Time Warner Cable merge. But what is a big secret are the agreements that those companies have with Comcast and TWC right now. They’re so secret, in fact, that networks are refusing to share any data with the FCC because they’re afraid their rivals might benefit from it. And that’s a problem, because without that data, the FCC is missing one of the key tools it should have in its toolbox as it evaluates the merger. [More]

Comcast Promises This Guy Is Coming To Fix Your Cable

"Meine dispatcher says there is something wrong with deine kable?"

Comcast has an image problem… mostly because its customer service is consistently ranked among the worst — not just of cable companies, but of all customer-facing businesses in the U.S. So maybe that’s not so much an image problem as it is a systemic rot that has been allowed to fester because the company has virtually no competition. So how to deal with this problem? Promote someone and claim that he’s going the answer to all your problems. [More]

You Are Now Watching 93 Minutes Of Netflix A Day, You Lazy Bum

You Are Now Watching 93 Minutes Of Netflix A Day, You Lazy Bum

Cable companies hate Netflix. They pretend it’s because the streaming video service puts up a fuss about having to pay a toll just to be carried that last mile of the Internet to customers’ homes. But really, as new data shows, it’s because people are now spending an awful lot of time watching Netflix instead of watching TV. [More]

Comcast/TWC Merger Critics: “Comcast Owes Us An Apology” for “Extortion” Comments

Comcast/TWC Merger Critics: “Comcast Owes Us An Apology” for “Extortion” Comments

Comcast had some harsh words this week for critics of their plan to acquire Time Warner Cable. They accused advocacy groups and businesses that have legitimate concerns about the massive transaction of crying wolf with “unfounded,” “unsupported,” and “extortionate” claims. However, Comcast’s attempt to discredit its critics into silence appears to be having the opposite effect, as both corporations and nonprofit groups are firing back loudly. [More]

Comcast: Opposition To TWC Merger Is Just “Extortion”

Comcast: Opposition To TWC Merger Is Just “Extortion”

UPDATE: Some groups are now calling on Comcast to apologize for the “extortion” allegation, with former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps saying that “Comcast’s suggestion that we’ve offered to withdraw our opposition in return for favors from the company is absolutely unfounded and untrue.” [More]

Comcast Keeps Claiming Competition Abounds, Despite Mountains Of Evidence From Planet Reality

Comcast Keeps Claiming Competition Abounds, Despite Mountains Of Evidence From Planet Reality

In August, as part of the merger oversight process, the FCC asked Comcast and Time Warner Cable for more information about their operations and their plans. In answer, Comcast has submitted 735 pages of documentation. That’s a lot of information, but Comcast’s responses have one key theme: the Comcast/TWC merger will not harm competition, because broadband competition is plentiful… no matter what the rest of us, including the FCC, seem to think. [More]

Comcast CEO “Cautiously Optimistic” He Can Shove TWC Merger Down Regulators’ Throats

Comcast CEO “Cautiously Optimistic” He Can Shove TWC Merger Down Regulators’ Throats

We’re still months away from the FCC and the Justice Dept. completing their reviews (and hopefully putting the brakes on) the merger between the nation’s two largest cable companies. And even though the initial questions being asked by regulators show that the deal is not inevitable, Comcast’s CEO is counting on being able to convince the folks in D.C. that this alliance isn’t entirely unholy. [More]

[Update] Comcast Denies Threatening To Disconnect Users Of Ultra-Private Browser

[Update] Comcast Denies Threatening To Disconnect Users Of Ultra-Private Browser

Tor is a specialized web browser: its target audience is the very security-minded user, someone who wants to stay private and anonymous. That includes all kinds of folks, from tech writers to, well, some people who have a strong and vested interest in law enforcement not knowing what they’re up to. The browser boasts over a million users now, but Comcast seems to be of the opinion that it knows what every one of those people are up to, that they are up to no good, and that Comcast has the right to cut off their web service for using it. [More]

Netflix Speeds Finally Rebound For FiOS, U-Verse Customers

Netflix Speeds Finally Rebound For FiOS, U-Verse Customers

For years, Verizon has bragged about the fast data speeds available to subscribers of its FiOS broadband service. Meanwhile, the company was allowing Netflix streams to bottleneck, resulting in real downstream speeds that were slower than some DSL providers. And even months after Netflix agreed to pay Verizon for better access to its network, the speeds didn’t improve — until now. [More]

Discovery Not Afraid of Sharks Or Comcast; Comes Out Against Merger

Discovery Not Afraid of Sharks Or Comcast; Comes Out Against Merger

We told you last week that even though the initial public commenting period for the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger has ended, the FCC is still talking to various media companies — including Discovery, operator of seemingly countless cable channels — to get their insights on the deal. Now the details of Discovery’s anti-merger arguments are being made public. [More]

Comcast: Approve TWC Merger Because Broadband Will Still Suck Just As Much

Comcast: Approve TWC Merger Because Broadband Will Still Suck Just As Much

Yesterday, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler surprised a lot of people by publicly discussing the woeful state of broadband competition in the U.S. Some viewed his remarks as an indicator that the commission is leaning toward blocking the pending Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, but the ever-optimistic (read: delusional) Comcast argue that Wheeler’s words actually support the deal. [More]

Why Isn’t America Freaking Out About AT&T/DirecTV Merger — And Should We Be?

Why Isn’t America Freaking Out About AT&T/DirecTV Merger — And Should We Be?

While pretty much everyone is scrutinizing the pending mega-merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, not much attention is being paid to the possible marriage of the country’s second-largest wireless and pay-TV companies. And that leaves us with two big questions: What, if anything, makes these two mergers so different? And should we be more worried about a unified AT&T and DirecTV than we are? [More]

FCC Chair Admits There Is Nowhere Near Enough Broadband Competition

This chart presented by Wheeler shows how little competition there is for broadband, especially at increased speeds.

In spite of what Comcast would have you believe, there is very little actual competition among broadband providers in the U.S. And this morning, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler publicly explained the woeful state of competition for America’s Internet users. [More]

The Bastard Child Of Comcast/TWC Merger Gets A Name: GreatLand Connections

If you live in one of those orange dots, you may soon be complaining about the cruddy cable and Internet service from GreatLand instead of Comcast.

While plenty of us are still banging on the church window, trying to break up the impending nuptials of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the couple, along with their “close friend” (ahem) Charter Communications, have already given a name to the company that will be spun off and left to fend for itself in the wild because there just isn’t enough room for everyone’s kids. That company, which will instantly become the fifth-largest cable operator in the U.S., will have the craptastic name of GreatLand Connections Inc. [More]

Media Companies Afraid To Leave Public Comments Privately Tell FCC Why The Comcast/TWC Merger Stinks

Media Companies Afraid To Leave Public Comments Privately Tell FCC Why The Comcast/TWC Merger Stinks

Plenty of big companies have left lengthy public comments explaining their opposition to Comcast buying Time Warner Cable. Still, though, not everyone who is afraid of the potential consequences of the merger is able to go air their grievances publicly. Media organizations that usually love announcing their opinions to anyone and everyone have been suspiciously silent on the matter, perhaps, as Sen. Al Franken suggested, due to fears of retaliation from their largest business partner. But just because those companies aren’t filing public comments doesn’t mean that they’re in love with the merger, and they may be telling a very different story behind closed doors. [More]

New York Not A Fan Of Comcast’s Plan To Take Over TWC Service In New York

New York Not A Fan Of Comcast’s Plan To Take Over TWC Service In New York

We’ve known for months that the FCC and the Justice Department are hard at work combing through the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, but they aren’t the only ones. Although the deal will need approval from both federal agencies in order to move forward, it also has to get the states where Comcast, TWC, and Charter operate on board. And some states, New York in particular, aren’t making it easy for the cable giants to get their way. [More]

How ISPs “Compete” With Municipal Networks: Lobbying and Campaign Donations That Block Them

How ISPs “Compete” With Municipal Networks: Lobbying and Campaign Donations That Block Them

Say you’re mayor of a small city. Your city is small enough and far enough away from other cities that the big cable companies don’t want to spend what it would cost to run wires through your town, because the amount they will make in return isn’t worth it. That’s reasonable, from a business perspective. So you and the residents of your city get together and come up with a plan to make a public broadband utility instead. Makes sense, right? You’d happily pay someone else to do it for you, but since they don’t want to take your money you’ll do it yourself. Only — surprise! In come those self-same cable companies to block you from doing that, too, and they get your state’s legislature and governor to pass a law against you for good measure, so you can never try again. [More]

Sterling Davis

Here’s What Netflix, Dish & Others Said To The FCC About The Comcast/TWC Merger

The period for leaving a comment about the Comcast/TWC merger with the FCC closed on Monday. Roughly a zillion members of the public — individuals, nonprofits, state and federal politicians, telecom companies, tech trade groups, and consumer advocates — have weighed in, including several big names in pay TV who are staunchly against the deal. [More]