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Comments on news posted 2014-02-25 11:02:29: Slowly but surely, city governments are realizing just how bad it can be for their residents when one TV provider has the exclusive right to provide cable TV services. ..



dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

I love my Cable TV

I really enjoy some of the shows on Cable. But I think I can buy the whole season on Amazon for all of my shows and still end up cheaper.

After this season of Walking Dead, I'm going down to basic cable. And staying there.
>$1000 a year for television?
--
dnoyeB
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16

deadzoned
Premium
join:2005-04-13
Cypress, TX

1 recommendation

Regulations

Heh, best line ever. Seeking relief from unnecessary regulations. Why don't we just get rid of all of the regulations and then see what happens? Oh wait, it's pretty much already happened.

YDC

join:2007-11-13
Hewlett, NY

Comcast is trying out a new consumer plan

The new plan is to raise rates faster than a spacecraft can go to the moon. In other words the sky is no longer the limit!


mox nix

@comcast.net

The outcome of request doesn't matter

The outcome of this request matters not at all to the customers in the area. Almost no one just buys the regulated basic service. They buy, at a minimum, the next tier up which includes more than OTA channels. And the price of that next tier up is adjusted higher or lower based on the regulated basic rate so that all customers in the area really end up paying the same no matter what the regulated basic rate is in their specific community.

Example:
City A : Basic regulated rate $10.23
Tier 1 Std $37.50
Total $47.73

City B : Basic regulated rate $8.10
Tier 1 Std $39.63
Total $47.73

They pay the same. If you are one who buys JUST the regulated Basic svc, then it matters a couple bucks. But so few buy JUST Basic, Comcast won't really care. They just want gov't out of their accounts is all the reason they need to fight regulation.


PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast

I question the accuracy of this....

From the content posted by Bill Neilson:

"Comcast actions are evident. They acquired an exclusive agreement with the cities and now want to charge whatever they want on as many as they want. Thankfully, Spokane seems to be fighting back hard against Comcast."

My understanding is that exclusive agreements are illegal. Just because Comcast is the only wireline cable TV provider does not mean they have an exclusive agreement. Am I incorrect here? This is a small but very significant inaccuracy if I am correct. The entire premise of the article is based on the franchise agreement being "exclusive" based on what Bill wrote. If anyone can link to information about it being an exclusive agreement, please correct me.
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???


Titus
Mr Gradenko

join:2004-06-26
kudos:1

The truly annoying people of the world

can't help but tell us what will happen at the end of the day and when all is said and done. The only problem is that that day never ends and they're never done saying something.
--
--

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Comcast
·Future Nine Corp..
reply to dnoyeB

Re: I love my Cable TV

I'm getting there too. It's easier to pay for a few programs per season than for any premium channel. I wish basic unencrypted cable was available, I'd drop a line per set and be done with anything but OTA channels. If Aereo wins, and if apps come to my smart TV's for OTA channels, I'm gone from satellite. All I want is basic news.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to PaulHikeS2

Re: I question the accuracy of this....

I am not going to bother looking, but I would simply say that if they are being rate regulated, they have an exclusive agreement.

What I would propose is to release them from consumer rate regulation, but require they share their network at a regulated rate.

Then they can charge their consumers whatever they want and one of their competitors can charge them what they want and we can let competition determine the true market price.


Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA
reply to PaulHikeS2
Technically, you are correct. It is deemed non-exclusive by the law.

What I mean is that many franchise agreements, while technically non-exclusive, are in reality exclusive as there is little to no chance of anyone outside the other major ISP's entering those markets due to some ridiculous rules and regulations which can change year-to-year depending on how many millions the major ISP's spend to change the law in that state.

Karl has written many times how smaller ISP's want to enter a market and are not allowed due to the major ISP's demanding that ANYONE entering the market must use the EXACT same agreement or else...no agreement. And that is one of many issues that has stopped smaller companies from even entering markets with big players already in them.

Heck, the FCC itself admitted to such issues.

»www.maine.gov/connectme/about/do···ne09.pdf

The FCC found that “[r]egulatory restrictions and conditions on entry shield incumbents from competition…” The FCC identified several factors that have stood in the way of competition. These include: (a) delays in acting on franchise applications; (b) insistence on the same terms for new entrants as for incumbents; (c) unreasonable build-out requirements; (d) LFA demands unrelated to provision of cable television services; (e) excessive demands over franchise fees; (f) unreasonable Public, Education,Governmental (“PEG”) channel and Institutional Network (“I-Net”) requirements; and (h) existence of local “level playing field” provisions.


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to mox nix

Re: The outcome of request doesn't matter

The city ONLY regulates limited basic (lifeline) service, which is quite popular among seniors and low income users, and those of us the want catv for local news/programing, but not much else.
Since as far as I can tell Satellite TV does not offer a cost competitive (under $20/Mo) "local only" (plus self supporting/paid channels like shopping and church channels) I don't see how they could serve 15% of that audience.

While satellite probably SHOULD be forced to offer something similar, as a practical matter it is nearly impossible to do so.
as much as Comcast would like to be rid of this service It is one of the expenses they must bear/pass along to other customers.
The local franchise is there specifically to regulate this and balance the actual cost of limit basic service passed to the low income user vs shifting it to the rest of the customer base.
It really was "almost nobody" using it then the cost shift from those FEW accounts would be minimal, however limited basic is becoming popular for local coverage among (almost)cord cutters.

In unincorparated areas outside the cities the state utilities commission monitors and evaluates any price changes and users pay a rate based on a nearby city franchise. (mine is based on Lynnwood 12 miles west, which was the largest/only incorporated nearby cities when the franchises started 50 years ago.

b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

1 recommendation

The "freedom" angle will play well in that region

All they have to say is "Obama is forcing us to keep our rates so low, we can't afford to add The Blaze TV and we might have to drop Fox News Channel".

The right wingers in Eastern Washington will fight for their right to charge more.
--
Bellingham Scanner Kicks Ass! »bhamscanner.kicks-ass.org/


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1

Internet pricing

Basic cable is good for getting the cheaper price on internet service.

Basic cable here is about $5 per month so you pay $61 instead of $74 for standalone Blast internet.


gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4

tv

the exclusivity deal is for cable providers, it costs WAYYYYYYY too much to overbuild a CATV system, which is why most cities only have one cable provider.
--
I'm better than you!


PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Bill Neilson

Re: I question the accuracy of this....

That's what I thought. My comment was based on your implication that Comcast recently acquired an exclusive agreement and as such were seeking favorable deregulation based on their new position. In reality, there has been no change in the franchise agreement status and they are seeking deregulation based on their assertation that competition has exceeded a previously agreed upon threshold.
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???

etaadmin

join:2002-01-17
Dallas, TX
kudos:1

1 recommendation

So, whose fault it is?

Comcast, Satellite TV (Dish and DirecTV) the telcos (Verizon, at&t, et all)?

I'm self employed and when my expenses start to cut into my income I just raise the price I charge to my clients. I have to be careful so I don't rise the price too much because if I do my competitors (who also raised their prices) can outbid me.

Same thing with Comcast, they have the right to charge for whatever they are selling. If people 'think' their service is too expensive then switch to satellite TV which is EVERYWHERE in the US or switch to Verizon FiOS or at&t's UVERSE TV.

In most cases the only option consumers may have is satellite TV as FiOS or Uverse TV may not be available but that is not Comcast's fault. If some new cable company wants to enter the market and finds it too expensive to start from zero that is also not Comcast's fault.

Writing new government regulations to allow a competitor to 'share' their infrastructure is not the answer, I would'n like if some new guy use my equipment to work on a contract that I should be working on.

We live in a 'perfect storm' of government regulations, special interests and cherry picking. The telcos (mainly at&t) in exchange for preferential treatment promised things that they never delivered and this is a big part of this whole lack of competition mess.

So consumers have limited options but we do have options, if Comcast prices are too high then switch to satellite TV, if FiOS/uverseTV is not available then force the telcos and make it available.


DannyZ
Gentoo Fanboy
Premium
join:2003-01-29
Erie, PA
reply to deadzoned

Re: Regulations

somewhat OT but...

"West Virginia is the picture of deregulation."


bbbc

join:2001-10-02
NorthAmerica
kudos:2
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
reply to b10010011

Re: The "freedom" angle will play well in that region

said by b10010011:

All they have to say is "Obama is forcing us to keep our rates so low, we can't afford to add The Blaze TV and we might have to drop Fox News Channel".

The right wingers in Eastern Washington will fight for their right to charge more.

I'm cracking up reading this because of how true your statement is.

--
Marriage Equality | Consumerist

axus

join:2001-06-18
Washington, DC

1 recommendation

reply to pandora

Re: I love my Cable TV

If cable won't sell TV a la carte, Netflix and Amazon will.


jslik
That just happened
Premium
join:2006-03-17
reply to Bill Neilson

Re: I question the accuracy of this....

....and the FCC through various orders has gotten rid of those "barriers" several years ago (which your link notes), and we still don't see significant competition, and that includes states with statewide franchising. So maybe the "barriers" are something else?
--
If they told you wolverines make good house pets, would you believe them?

tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
reply to axus

Re: I love my Cable TV

Better still, bittorent sties and streaming sites offer it free
Keep raising those rates Comcast and the rest of the content industry.. lets see how many customers you maintain for video services


Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA
reply to jslik

Re: I question the accuracy of this....

The one specific barrier that I have seen in several cities is the exact-same agreement argument that ISP's make when newcomers try to join the party.

Of course, as I type this I can't find the links but I just read two stories in the Star Tribune and Arkansas Gazette (I think thats their name) where local companies wanted to build fiber slowly through the cities (1/3 in the first year, 2/3 in the following 2 years, etc...) and the major ISP's squashed it due to to them forcing anyone that tries to come into their area wanting a different agreement with the city (not saying better or worse but just different since the buildout is slower).

I believe it was the Minnesota city who is thinking about suing the ISP to allow their city council to agree to slower buildout agreements.

Now, let me go find the articles. Annoying that i didn't save them.


cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
reply to Skippy25
Right on there!!


Gayle

@comcast.net

pricing

Comcast LIES and is guilty of FALSE ADVERTISING!!!


WireHead
I drive to fast
Premium
join:2001-05-09
Muncie, IN

meh

I'm inclined to believe that it's easier to consolidate the market and regulate it. I'm inclined to believe it's about to be regulated into a utility, the striking down of neutrality merely the ground work. Once the pay-to-play stuff comes full circle the government will have plenty of reasons. Just needed to move that rule out of the way so they have enough rope to hang themselves with. And it's spooling out quite nicely now. Tied right to the cornerstone of regulation waiting to draw tight.
--
Retired BBR Team Starfire Team Q III Host
Live by chance. Love by choice. Kill by profession.