A magical and wonderful thing has happened to some customers who have Charter Internet service After restarting their cable modems for some reason or another, they found that their home internet connections had received a speed boost. It was a big one, boosting real-life speeds from about 30 mbps to 100 mbps. [More]
Comcast and proposed merger partner Time Warner Cable claim they don’t compete because their service areas don’t overlap. They say 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]
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?
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 pay 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.
While there are plenty of cable servicemen doing awesome things like saving kittens and well, the normal business of installing Internet so we can read about kittens getting saved, one contractor kept himself involved in his customers lives in a less than savory way. In order to file a bunch of fraudulent tax returns, totaling about $91,000, he simply hooked himself up to customers’ Internet service after he’d installed it.