Boston Mayor Trying to Fight Relentless Comcast Rate Hikes
Begging FCC for Authority to Stop 80% Hikes Over Three Years
Boston is like many cities and suffers from a lack of cable competition and increasingly-eroded regulatory authority, meaning that local incumbent Comcast can generally overcharge for services as they see fit without competitive or regulatory repercussions. Since a price capping agreement expired three years ago Comcast has raised rates in the city 80%. Last May Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino filed an emergency petition with the FCC seeking authority to regulate the cost of basic cable in Boston for the first time in a decade.
Boston originally was able to regulate basic cable prices until Cablevision in 1997 convinced the FCC that with the arrival of RCN, the sector was so competitive regulatory price supervision wasn't necessary. The FCC deregulated price controls further in 2001. Six months after his request the FCC is still reviewing it, so according to the Boston Globe
, with another round of major rate hikes by Comcast, he's trying again:
Menino said in a statement yesterday he is again asking the Federal Communications Commission to restore regulatory authority to Boston, the second such request in less than a year. His latest request comes after the Globe reported yesterday that Comcast was again planning to raise prices for its minimal cable offering, this time by 4.9 percent, to $16.58 a month. "We’d like them to give us the tools to help protect consumers, especially those working families who are disproportionately affected,’’ Menino told the Globe yesterday.
Given the growing revolving door (see graphic, above) between Comcast and the federal government, it's no wonder that they're not doing much to help put a lid on Comcast price hikes, or to encourage more competition in markets in order to organically drive prices down. A lawsuit in Philadelphia
recently accused the cable giant of overbilling users in the city to the tune of $870 million, with accusations of similar anti-competitive behavior and price gouging in Boston and other cities.
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|reply to voipnpots |
Re: Prices are getting too high
if the price is too high, cut the service.
they charge the fees because they can. it isn't a utility so stop bitching.