on the bi-annual rate hike thing: for 20 or so years we had comcast. we moved & in our new home we have verizon fios which offers: 1)faster internet service 2)more hd channels w/ a far more user-friendly interface 3)phone service (yawn) FOR LESS MONEY THAN COMCAST! interestingly enough, when we were setting up the move/utilities, the call center staff at comcast didn't even take a swing at retaining our business (aka revenue) at our new home. it was that bored generation x-er thing: "oh, like, you want to cancel? when do you want it turned off?"
this would be the age old actions have consequences thing: biannual rate hikes + "like" disinterested customer service = we have verizon fios.