Comcast, CenturyLink Try to Derail Seattle's 1 Gbps Mayor
by Karl Bode 09:21AM Friday Nov 01 2013 Tipped by chaud
For much of the last decade Seattle has explored the idea
of building their own ultra-fast broadband network. Much of that motivation was fueled by the sub-standard service provided in the region by regional telco Qwest (now CenturyLink), which in turn resulted in regional cable operator Comcast not working very hard. After scrapping several fiber plans and shutting down their Wi-Fi network, Seattle (and Mayor Mike McGinn) is back at work on a new public/private fiber to the home effort
in conjunction with Gigabit Squared.
That new program aims to offer Seattle residents 100 Mbps service for $45 dollars a month, or $80 a month for 1 Gbps service. According to a report in the Washington Post
, both Comcast and CenturyLink are obviously not thrilled with the competition, and as such have been donating to the campaign of McGinn's challenger Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle), who is considerably less bullish on the fiber project:
Comcast's donations to political action committees (PACs) suggest Comcast has poured dramatically more resources into defeating McGinn. The Broadband Communications Association of Washington PAC, which received 94 percent of its 2013 contributions from Comcast, donated $5,000 to the group People for Ed Murray less than a month after Gigabit Squared's pricing announcement....
Comcast also donated $5,000 to the PAC called the "Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy," or CASE, whose largest expenditures were donations to People for Ed Murray, to the tune of $52,500 -- over half of the money spent by the group according to the most recent disclosures online.
Obviously a corporation donating to candidates who'll most closely parrot their views is nothing new, but war by incumbents on any town or city that wants to deploy faster and cheaper broadband than mega ISPs offer (read: competition) has been an often ugly affair
that has been raging for more than a decade. Comcast adds insult to injury by telling the Post their campaign contributions to Murray are not related "in any way to any actions of the current Mayor."
This word... competition It's not really "competition" when people (taxpayers) are forced to pay for it whether they use it or not.
These "public/private" enterprises ALWAYS go over budget and fail to meet expectations, leaving the taxpayers on the hook to make up the difference.
Public Financing of Elections The reason America is in steep decline is that policy is enacted to benefit the corporations, our tax dollars frequently go to the corporations who lobby for the benefits.
America's real welfare queens are the Fortune 500. If we are truly a capitalist society, cut them all off, and let them fend for themselves.
The only way we will ever have a functioning democracy again is to stop the flow of corporate money to candidates. Because of all that money, Comcast and CenturyLink become the constituents, not you or I.
Project Cant Be Stopped Contract is signed, the network build is moving forward. Mayor McGinn is getting his butt kicked in the polls, he barely made it passed the primaries. When Google was looking to install citywide fiber, McGinn was out there trying to woo google in coming to Seattle, but Kansas City won. So he decided to lease out the 500 mile dark fiber network, starting with ... drum roll .. COMCAST! Out of several companies, they won the public bid and have been providing 10gig service in the Pioneer Square district but since Comcast donated money to Ed Murray's campaign during the primaries, McGinn has been accusing Comcast of not providing gigabit service, to of which he promotes Gigabit Seattle, which is kinda sad because Comcast does provide this service and would like to provide it to more neighborhoods but cant because they cant get the permits, thats the main reason why Comcast is donating money to Murray. So most of this is McGinn playing the populist role, he throws out the "LOL COMCAST SUX!!" at many events, he knows his base hates Comcast, so he's playing their hate strings.
Its a fight between Far left liberal (McGinn) vs Liberal (Murray). Just a few years ago, most liberals were endorsing Murray for Senate, now he's being demonized and its almost funny to watch these fight it out.
Its worth nothing that McGinn chose Gigabit Squared to build the network, just a few years ago they were just a engineering think tank with less than 20 employees. They have zero experience in building such a network and passed over Condonet, which has been providing gigabit service for years now, but only in select buildings downtown.
Funniest part is how everyone thinks this fiber system will actually be hard wired, which it wont. Like Condonet, that last mile is going to be wireless.