You just have to laugh at this stupid comment.
The FCC recently voted 4-1 to approve Charter‘s $79 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The agency just released its full order (pdf) pertaining to the deal, outlining the various conditions the FCC hopes to enforce to keep Charter from simply becoming another Comcast. Among them are a seven-year ban on usage caps, a seven-year ban on charging for direct interconnection (the heart of the telecom industry’s battle with Netflix last year), and a ban on any attempt to pressure broadcasters into refusing deals with streaming video providers.
But the FCC says the merger conditions also require Charter to deploy broadband service to an additional 2 million locations, one million of which need to already be served by another competing provider. The faint threat of competition was enough to upset the American Cable Association (ACA), the lobbying organization for smaller cable providers. According to ACA CEO Matthew Polka, the added competition will actually be a horrible thing for consumers, because, uh, well, just because: Continue reading
The problem here is not the desire to open up the set-top box market, but Google and others’ use of crony capitalism through the Obama Administration to circumvent the standard FCC process to make an informed decision. The FCC has already started the NPRM process where Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, and others can participate. They don’t need to put political pressure on a supposedly-independent department. There is no question that both sides of the argument have a vested interest, but Silicon Valley should follow the processes outlined by the FCC.
From net neutrality to municipal broadband, to new broadband privacy rules and a quest to open up the cable set top box to competition, we’ve noted repeatedly that the FCC under Tom Wheeler isn’t the same FCC we’ve learned to grumble about over the years. For a twenty-year stretch, regardless of party control, the agency was utterly, dismally apathetic to the lack of competition in the broadband space. But under Wheeler, the FCC has not only made broadband competition a priority, but has engaged in other bizarre, uncharacteristic behaviors — like using actual real-world data to influence policy decisions. Continue reading
Get a Clue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This article is a bit late, but the subject is still pertinent. These technology bloggers do not have any idea of how the communications industry operates. It really doesn’t matter if companies consolidate across geographical boundaries because the companies are not competing against each other in the first place. The number of choices that a consumer has remains constant in this transaction. The premise of this article is flawed, but coming from Gawker Media it is no surprise.
I find it ironic that the author complains of not enough competition then lauds efforts by the government to get into the business which is the ultimate monopoly. These kiddies think that the government will solve all of their problems while in reality they care even less about service quality and customer service than commercial service providers. I totally agree that more competition will be health for consumers but stopping this transaction will not do anything to improve that situation.
America woke up to some frustrating news today. Charter, the fourth-largest cable company in America, wants to buy Time Warner Cable, the second-largest, as well as Bright House, the tenth-largest. If the deal goes through it’s going to affect come 23 million internet customers directly. Not in a good way.
Major cable mergers like this one and, like the failed Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable, stand to further wreck the already terrible state of America’s broadband.
Articles like these are increasingly being written pointing out that lack of true broadband competition is stifling innovation. Cities that have built open-access municipal networks have enjoyed lower pricing and innovative new services. The cost of building that last-mile of fiber is unjustifiable for a public company if they are the only user. Amortize the cost over several service providers and the payback becomes around 5 years which is well within the planning horizon of a city. The incumbents should embrace the use of “other peoples’ money” to offer new and innovative services to increase ARPU.
from the indeed dept
Ryan Single has an excellent piece at Wired that details how incredibly misleading telcos are being in claiming that the FCC’s attempt to reclassify broadband access will lead to less “innovation.” He highlights how far behind other countries the US has fallen, and how hard the telcos seem to work at not competing and not investing in innovation. Basically, Singel points out what many of us have pointed out all along. All of this posturing by telcos is about lowering their own costs (i.e., not investing) and squeezing more money out of customers, in an attempt to please Wall Street: