Cable War Fails To Lower Rates

The Washington Post has an interesting article about Montgomery County, MD, the county that fined Comcast for its crap customer service. Despite allowing Verizon into its market (as competition from Comcast), the rates for the county’s cable subscribers keep going up:

Bills for thousands of Montgomery County cable viewers will increase by 4 percent starting March 1, when Comcast Corp., suburban Maryland’s largest cable television provider, raises rates throughout the Washington region.

Montgomery leaders had hoped that competition from a new provider, Verizon Communications Inc., would help lower prices. But Comcast said recently that cable bills would climb in line with increases for subscribers throughout Maryland, the District and Northern Virginia.

And its not just Comcast customers feeling the pinch, Verizon raised its rates as well

:

The Montgomery and Prince George’s county councils signed off in November on agreements to allow Verizon to begin offering fiber-optic television service. Company officials hailed the “benefits of choice” for customers, including less expensive service.

Verizon has since raised its rates for new customers by 7.6 percent. And RCN, the third company that offers cable television service in Montgomery, raised its base price last month by 15 percent.

… So much for the idea that “competition will bring down rates,” said Montgomery County Council President Marilyn Praisner (D-Eastern County), who has long clashed with the industry over regulation. “That clearly hasn’t happened.”

Have your cable rates gone down due to competition? .—MEGHANN MARCO

Cable War Fails to Offer Rate Relief in Montgomery [Washington Post]
(Photo: Matt Garland)