Comcast, Verizon Defend Deal Before Congress
Consumer Advocates Worry About Anti-Competitive Impact
Comcast and Verizon went before Congress today to defend their co-branding arrangement, which includes the cable industry bundling Verizon LTE service with the cable industry's triple play service -- in addition to selling them $3.6 billion in new spectrum
. Consumer advocates have worried that the deal will result in Comcast and the cable companies limiting competition in both fixed and wireless markets, using their combined power to crush smaller competitors ranging from more rural telcos (Windstream, Fairpoint, Frontier) to satellite broadband competitors.
As it stands, there's not much to the agreements now -- the companies are simply offering users $300 gift cards
if they sign up for four services. It's also not operating in very many markets yet. Comcast is the only cable company to start offering the option, and that's only in just three markets as they get a grip on the customer support and billing burden.
The concern is what the agreement could ultimately result in -- namely markets where the Verizoncast quadruple play is the only option after what feeble competition that exists now -- primarily WISPs and rural telco and cablecos -- is crushed. The other concern is that Verizon, on record in recent years claiming they have plenty of spectrum
, suddenly claiming spectrum crisis -- a move consumer advocates argue is driven simply by keeping spectrum out of the hands of potential competitors.
The hearing is ongoing, and the live stream can be found here
Re: It's a given the goal is to crush the competition I see the big deal as comcast is a wireline company. Verizon should be selling, endorsing, and improving their OWN wired network, not abandoning it in favor of cable. These companies compete on the wired side of the business. Its not just about FiOS either, Verizon still has millions of landlines/ DSL, they should be selling their own products, competitively against the cable co's.
The entire deal is hypocritical, and circumvents the entire goal of the '96 telecom act.
The cable co's should have pooled all their spectrum together and created their OWN wireless co, OR partnered with a Wireless co that does not have their own Wired products , Tmobile , Sprint ( I believe they spun off wireline to Embarq)
If none of that was good enough, the cable co's should have auctioned the spectrum off ! And VZ could have, and probably would have won the bid, without a conflict of interest.
There is so much wrong here, its sickening.
Let it go Verizon announced last year that they were halting their FiOS roll out just like AT&T is halting their U-Verse roll out.
I don't see this as anti-competitive, and how is it any different than Centurylink offering service with a satellite company. They offer their Prism home TV service, which I believe they are expanding. In fact if I remember right they also partnered with Verizon Wireless to sell mobile phone service.
The only ones who should be opposed to this are the major competitors who would also want that spectrum, Sprint, AT&T, US Cellular, T-Mobile.
It's unfortunate that Windstream and Frontier can't compete in terms of speed, their only hope is to compete on price. They could also try DSL binding as well as vDSL to help compete with cable companies. I know when I'm given a choice between 1.5Mbps DSL or 22Mbps/5Mbps cable, I will be taking the cable.
It's been stated for a while, once residential LTE becomes available it will trounce DSL service. The only major issue with it would be the data caps. Once they increase to a reasonable level there would almost be no reason to get DSL.
Re: Let it go Between you and NWOhio, which one is the better corporate apologist?
| |fiberguyMy views are my own.Premium
Re: Let it go
said by Telco:Being that the constitution doesn't GRANT any RIGHTS,.. it doesn't. The constitution only limits the powers of the government from restricting certain rights.
Nowhere in our Constitution does it state that business has a right to generate profits at our expense.
| |said by daake07:For now. Do you really think that Verizon will never put down any more FiOS fiber?
Verizon announced last year that they were halting their FiOS roll out just like AT&T is halting their U-Verse roll out.
Think about in a few years when:
* The economy begins to grow again
* Unemployment drops
* Housing market picks up
* Fiber gear continues to drop in price
* The US population and housing density continues to grow
* 100Mb connections are a must-have by everyone wanting to use latest internet capabilities
| |tim_kButtons, Bows, Beamer, Shadow, KaseyPremium,VIP
Re: Let it go
said by jjeffeory:IMO, VZ, especially now with a CEO from the wireless side, loves the profit margin of wireless and are putting nearly all money into LTE. Their unwillingness to negotiate a new contract with the union seems to indicate they aren't interested very much with the wire line side with its union employees.
Verizon operates in some of the most affluent counties in the US, yet they still stopped rolling out FiOS to those areas. I'm not sure why they did that but I don't think that your bullet points are going to get them to startup again. They have some other agenda in motion.
RIP my babies Buttons 1/15/94-2/9/07, Beamer 7/24/08, & Bows 12/17/94-10/11/09
·Verizon Online DSL
Re: Only approved if Verizon builds out FiOS for everyone Law official: What is this deal going to do?
Verizon/Comcast: Going to offer lower prices for all customers in the tough economy, and therefore, businesses can create jobs.
Law official: OK! I don't understand what tech does, but since you used keywords to make it sound good, you get the carrot.
Raises prices every year.
Re: Only approved if Verizon builds out FiOS for everyone
said by Telco:Absent from their pro industry ads is lowering prices and doing right by the consumer. This is the NEW normal in recent years Comcast and AT&T who have the MOST foot-print overlap have colluded to keep prices high and innovation low. How can you expect anything different between an alliance with Comcast and Verizon. IMHO, Comcast is playing the telcos for a fool as they must have some grand scheme to screw the consumer AND the telcos at the same time. We just don't know EXACTLY what it is yet..
Yep. Every single ad from Oil, Coal, CTIA lobbying mentions that they will magically create millions of jobs.
| |fiberguyMy views are my own.Premium
Re: Only approved if Verizon builds out FiOS for everyone Does anyone REALLY think that Comcast has any desire to offer wireless service? Let's not forget the past. Comcast was a wireless carrier. Comcast has tried, and failed, on several occasions to offer a wireless service. Each wireless venture turned out to be such a joke of an offering that the consumer realized they could get a better deal on their own. Comcast has often sold the quad play as "one combined bill".. and surprise!! .. not everyone likes to drop a lot of money in one spot. (ie: all eggs in one basket) Many people have learned that while these resellers offer verizon's service, you usually can't just leave Comcast, in this case, and jump to Verizon with out starting a new contract as a new customer.
Over the years people have learned what a joke reseller agreements really are. Qwest resold Sprint service for a while, that didn't go well for them. They dumped Sprint and moved to Verizon. I really don't think it's the greatest thing either for Qwest, now CL.
I think Comcast is just selling the spectrum off to Verizon for a profit, putting up the front that they're going to sell combined service, and in about a year, at best, those who foolishly subscribed with Comcast's new friend, formerly a foe, will get the familiar letter, something of:
I'm seriously trying to figure out why comcast wants to get into wireless. They've talked about it for YEARS! And a comapny the size of comcast, with all the money they have, seriously can't figure out their way into wireless? I see Comcast's desire to be a wireless option about the same as the way AT&T made my iPhone 4S a 4G phone over night with a small update - it's just a "we have to be part of the parade" kinda thing.
Dear Valued Subscriber,
We're dumping Verizon service. you're welcome to migrate directly to Verizon, and in fact we'll make it easy for you! ... you're now a Verizon customer!
Richer for the Deal
But I really believe that this is just a shell operation to transfer spectrum to Verizon with out the pesky FCC getting in the way.
If I were congress, I'd require that if they want this deal that bad, then Verizon Telco and Verizon Wireless need to got the way of AT&T et 1984.. split 'em up! AT&T should have been split up in the same way when they wanted Tmo, and when they merged with Bell South. Either regulate them again, or split up their operations. Split 'em up and see how fast the land line business starts to innovate in order to survive with out the cash cow of the wireless.