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Thread: Is Comcast taking over the world?

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    Member miradoblackwarrior's Avatar
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    Is Comcast taking over the world?

    Hello, all--
    I don't post often, but I have been twisting and turning about cutting the cord. Now that Comcast has bought Time Warner, I'm expecting that rates will jump, and my decision will be expedited. Do any of you out there have thoughts or similar concerns?

    Susan

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    My big concern is net neutrality - given Comcast and other cable companies pricing schemes, I would not put it past them to "tier" the internet if allowed to - basic access package gets you access to a fixed set of internet sites, if you want more, you pay more. That's besides them making (or failing to make) deals with other companies, which could end up banning groups of sites altogether. Like no more Netflix since they are a competitor.

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    I don't think so on the "tier" and "package" deals. Usually monopolistic industry means less choice for the consumer, not more. That idea sounds lot like a la carte pricing which I would have loved to have seen when I was their cable customer. But as they were the only cable provider in town they were not inclined to offer customers the choice to purchase less of their product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onlinemoniker View Post
    I don't think so on the "tier" and "package" deals. Usually monopolistic industry means less choice for the consumer, not more. That idea sounds lot like a la carte pricing which I would have loved to have seen when I was their cable customer. But as they were the only cable provider in town they were not inclined to offer customers the choice to purchase less of their product.
    I doubt they would be deals (at least not in the long term). "Basic" cable packages don't have "basic" prices anymore. Choices are pay a lot for a little - or pay a lot more for more - or go without. Which is why I dropped cable years ago. If net neutrality went away, I can't imagine providers not trying to tweak access to maximize income.

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    Cancelled cable tv last summer. Don't miss it. If Comcast jacks up the internet usage pricing, that could be an issue, but they could do that now. Hoping for the best and no censorship.

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    I am personally hoping the FTC either says no, or opens up rules that stop any state or local laws, that the cable companies lobbied for, that restrict municipal internet service. I doubt I get lucky with either, and I am certainly in an area that has no fast track for Google Fiber, and while advertised, is not well serviced by AT&T.

    Online, I think your missing what was meant by tier packages. Currently cable tv has tiers, in the forms of channel packages. The way I read it, they are worried about setting up internet access that way. ($x a month will gets you access to text type of sites, $x+y will get you access to other sites such as Youtube, and $ZZ paladium priced service will allow you to access sites such as Netflix). To a very limited extent, they do this now, with your download and upload speeds, but some things they have tried (like blocking torrents), have caused them legal problems. This also gives them more bargaining power with those that provide them content. (fewer markets to pit against one another)
    I would like it if there really was a by the channel option, as well as liking it if the two as separate companies would have been able to compete with each other, in the same market. I've only lived in one house where the borders met in such a way, that we had the option of either company (and you had to sign a waiver for the one who had the section of the yard where the house was).
    Net Neutrality was dealt a severe blow by the courts recently, who said the FTC had no authority to enforce it. After that there have been some stories of issues with Netflix streaming. Also the cable companies, lobbied for and got the right to encrypt the signal, going back to a 1970's and early 80's style box, that they get to charge, per tv. That doesn't even take into any consideration that the boxes, have unique addresses (mac address) that they can monitor all your habits (start of targeted marketing), build and sell your profile, and control individual channels and such.

    Between this, the NSA stuff and the security stuff I have seen and know about, I am getting tempted to cut the cord on internet, all together and use it only from the library (when needed) or when I need to get something for work, my parents house which is close to there.

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    I am personally hoping the FTC either says no, or opens up rules that stop any state or local laws, that the cable companies lobbied for, that restrict municipal internet service. I doubt I get lucky with either, and I am certainly in an area that has no fast track for Google Fiber, and while advertised, is not well serviced by AT&T.
    Well if they are indeed state or local laws it would seem a more likely plan for them to be thrown out on that level (yes I really do think it's easier to get my state or local goverment to make those changes than the Feds - but that's just laws allowing municipal internet, the antitrust issue is something else, and it seems to be a clear violation here of anti-trust on cable t.v.). I AM well serviced by AT&T (which is the backbone DSL runs on even if you don't go with AT&T - I don't). So yea I hate AT&T, like the other thread here, but at least the product does what it's supposed to. Cable I hear nothing but horror stories.
    I hope that someone saves a seat for me on the last plane out

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    The argument I hear Comcast making is that Time Warner's service regions are substantially different from Comcast's, and that, therefore, they're not "reducing customer choice". As others have documented here, though, customer choice already has been reduced substantially by exclusives offered by governments to reward the initial buildout of networks. And Comcast already owns content providers like NBC, a number of sports networks (NHL Network, Golf Channel, etc.), the Weather Channel, and the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team.

    I hold a very dim view that Comcast will hold to "net neutrality" if they are allowed even a foothold to do differently. Allowing the merger will, IMHO, be very shortsighted and will only hasten the consolidation of content providers and content deliverers. I cannot see a way that that improves any of our electronic-media experiences.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Don't underestimate the influence of the major players who wish to maintain access for the masses to ensure their survival - Google, Yahoo etc.
    "How will you serve the world? What do they need that you can provide? The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is." (Jim Carrey)

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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Don't underestimate the influence of the major players who wish to maintain access for the masses to ensure their survival - Google, Yahoo etc.
    Do they directly compete with cable t.v. or internet? Maybe google wants to. Is yahoo even in that business?
    I hope that someone saves a seat for me on the last plane out

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