01 March 2014

KingCast and Breffni Barrett Say Fuck the Comcast and Time Warner Merger and Lament the Sad, Sorry State of U.S. Cable/Internet/TV Pricing and Providers.

I'm sitting here on the couch, surfing the Internet with my girlfriend, going over finances as we discover that our monthly cable bill at $80+ is squarely 2/3 of what we pay for our car insurance for two average older cars, a standard Volvo and a SAAB Turbo. "What the fuck?" she says. "Yah, exactly... What the fuck" I concurred. And I say this as someone who has worked in the fiber and wireless industries I know the pricing is exorbitant for what we get. This quote from last month's Forbes story "The Cable Bill's Too High. Here's Why" says it all:
No wonder just the television portion of the cable bill has nearly doubled to $78 monthly over the last decade. And no surprise that U.S. cable and broadband rates are now at nosebleed levels relative to those on offer in foreign capitals, despite delivering inferior technology to the one that lets Koreans, Scandinavians and Hong Kongers surf the Internet much faster.
You want some more? Gizmodo wrote three (3) years ago in a feature "Why the government won't protect you from getting screwed by your cable company" 
For decades, cable operators were allowed to set up exclusive regional franchises. A cable company would come into an area, and more or less tell the municipal area in charge of franchising that it needed an exclusive for the next, say, 12-15 years if it was going to build out lines. That ended in 1992 with the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, but the damage was done. Cable companies had already divided up the nation like Europe colonizing Africa. By the time regulation arrived, the land grab was already over.
 .....Anyone with half a brain can see that the whole problem is a lack of competition. And now we are somehow supposed to embrace the pending Comcast/Time Warner merger? Well fuck that, says Breffni Barrett as noted in these Consumerist and Bloomberg stories, claiming that claiming that executives prioritized their own bank accounts over investors’ interests for a deal that will have a difficult time passing regulatory muster. 

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