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Comcast: We Lobby for Awful Legislation for You, The Consumer
by Karl Bode 03:32PM Thursday Jul 17 2014
As noted yesterday, incumbent ISPs have paid convinced Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn to rush to the defense of awful, protectionist broadband bills these companies have been writing and getting passed for much of the last decade. Said bills block towns and cities from deploying broadband -- even in cases where nobody else will -- and in some cases even if they work with private industry. Blackburn insists her new bill would protect states rights from FCC meddling with states rights (though letting corporations write laws that trample local state rights is apparently just fine).

Incumbent ISPs generally don't like to talk about their roles in these bills, given that acknowledging they literally write state law solely for their own financial benefit doesn't make for great PR. Two of Blackburn's biggest campaign contributors are PACs tied to AT&T ($66,750) and Comcast ($36,600).

AT&T this week refused to comment on their role in Blackburn's push or these laws (and this is a game they've been playing for a very, very long time). Comcast did comment, telling the International Business Times they lobby for these awful bills on the behalf of the consumer:
quote:
Comcast has described community-owned Internet service providers as a waste of taxpayer money while seeking to limit their expansion. A spokesperson told International Business Times, "Comcast operates in 39 states and has 130,000 employees across the country. It is important for our customers, our employees and our shareholders that we participate in the political process. The majority of our PAC contributions are to the senators and members who represent our employees and customers."
In other words, Comcast writes laws stripping consumers of the right to decide their community's fate for themselves -- for you, the consumer. This is apparently a new Comcast favorite sound byte -- the company recently also stated they're lobbying Congress to get their merger approved -- for you, the people. In short, Comcast is eliminating state rights "for consumers," and Blackburn is protecting Comcast's ability to keep doing this because she really cares about local rights and Tennessee consumers. Right?

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batman

@50.182.54.x

Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors and I can't blame them. They pay taxes in all these states; their employees pay taxes in all these states. Why should they want to fund a competitor thru their own taxes. They have the same rights as any taxpayer - to lobby politicians to see things their way. And unless lobbying laws and election laws are changed to stop contributions to political candidates, they have to play by the laws as they exist.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

said by batman :

Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors and I can't blame them. They pay taxes in all these states; their employees pay taxes in all these states.

Why stop there? There are plenty of things our taxes are used to fund that many people will disagree with. There are times I wish I had a choice, like with United Way, where I can decide how my "contribution" is used.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

batman

@50.182.54.x

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

said by n2jtx:

said by batman :

Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors and I can't blame them. They pay taxes in all these states; their employees pay taxes in all these states.

Why stop there? There are plenty of things our taxes are used to fund that many people will disagree with. There are times I wish I had a choice, like with United Way, where I can decide how my "contribution" is used.

One very big difference. Stop paying taxes because you don't like how they are spending it - they can lock you up; take your assets. Don't like Comcast service - drop the service.

keithps
Premium
join:2002-06-26
Soddy Daisy, TN
Reviews:
·EPB Fiber Optics

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

Yea, it's not like you need internet to do anything in the world today. Also, Comcast has no issue taking handouts and subsidies from the government, to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars a year.
--
RIP Dad (10-28-1955 to 4-10-2010)

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

said by keithps:

Comcast has no issue taking handouts and subsidies from the government, to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars a year.

Can you please provide documentation/proof of this claim?

I don't believe Comcast receives ANY gov't handouts or subsides.
Quite to the contrary, the pay out millions, possibly billions of dollars in taxes, franchise fees, RoW and pole attachment fees, to local, and state gov'ts.

It is my understanding that EPB (your ISP I believe?) owes it's existence to and is tied to the public coffers and taxpayers credit worthiness so perhaps you were confused.

karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

1 recommendation

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

Comcast, effective tax Rate over the last year: .4% Quandl(That's right, less than 1%). You're telling me they aren't getting MASSIVE subsidies and handouts? Guess what, you're WRONG. So WRONG on so many levels, it's scary. Sure, their INCOME tax rate is closer to 20%, BUT, with subsidies and government handouts, it's EFFECTIVELY less than 1%
--
The best way to defeat religion it to ignore it. Look at Ra/Thor/Zeus, they all thought they were forever.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

Any tax breaks were granted by the Gov't generally with the intent of steering a corporation towards public goal A, B, C, (energy efficiency, hiring of "disadvantaged" workers, relocation, and a zillion other well meaning but sometimes over-reaching policy goals) if you don't like tax breaks tell your representatives ASAP.
I'm all for a very flat tax system with ONLY a bottom end MINIMAL per person deduction. and while very low/ near zero corporate rates are the international standard, as long as US corporations (and those operating here) choose to act like people that can pay people like rates on US earnings.
Raides

join:2004-09-27

1 recommendation

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

I believe people have been complaining for a while now that the ridiculous tax breaks companies get are ridiculous. Yet, no representative seems to care what the people they're "officially" listening to are saying.

Many companies, mostly the big, international ones, are using well-known tax tricks, accepting millions in subsidies (Universal Service Fund, anyone?), abusing regulations (Common Carrier when it suits them, anyone?) to get untold amounts of money from the government.

You know this. The politicians and people running the companies know this. Don't tell me you don't and do not tell me it's not true because you would be flat out lying and I would call you a shill.

karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

1 recommendation

I would LOVE to tell my representative. The only problem is, I don't have a $60,000 check (well, donation), which would allow them to listen to me. The problem is very simple, and I DON'T blame the representatives. They are people, and people are at the core greedy. Everyone is greedy to some extent, but the elected officials are so hooked on the corporate teet, that they don't CARE what the people want, they only care about the corporations. The solution, is very easy, yet I'm enough of a realist to know it would never happen.
Step #1: Corporations are NOT PEOPLE. PERIOD. They don't have 'speech' or 'religious' rights, they exist ONLY to collect money and spend money.
Step #2: No lobbyist. Period. Stop the flow of money, and you severely limit the corruption.
Step #3: Term limits. One term as senator, 3 terms as Representative.
Step #4: When you ARE elected, ALL your ASSETS are put in a government fund, if the government MAKES money, you MAKE money, if the government spends more than it makes, then you LOSE money. I guarantee you ALL corporate tax breaks, all pork spending would disappear overnight.
--
The best way to defeat religion it to ignore it. Look at Ra/Thor/Zeus, they all thought they were forever.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

Step #2: No lobbyist. Period. Stop the flow of money, and you severely limit the corruption.
Step #3: Term limits. One term as senator, 3 terms as Representative.
Step #4: When you ARE elected, ALL your ASSETS are put in a government fund, if the government MAKES money, you MAKE money, if the government spends more than it makes, then you LOSE money. I guarantee you ALL corporate tax breaks, all pork spending would disappear overnight

Right on!!

Especially #2
--
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»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 edits
said by karlmarx:

I would LOVE to tell my representative. The only problem is, I am lazy

Contact is easy, being persistent, polite, informed and consistent takes a little work.

said by karlmarx:

Step #1: Corporations are NOT PEOPLE. PERIOD.

I agree, and as I've said before YOU get a vote, something they don't, and that offers you ALL the power.

said by karlmarx:

Step #2: No lobbyist....

but you speaking to your rep for your own interests IS lobbying too, as is have someone in DC paid to lobby on behalf of you, your union, your organization, your charity, even your business. They need the input and face time from all sides to really understand the depth of many issues, the problems come when the fund raising and questionable ethics distract from their job, REPRESENTING YOU 24/7
said by karlmarx:

Step #3: Term limits. One term as senator, 3 terms as Representative.

Making the congress, the newbie in DC, while surrounded by seasoned lobbyists is part of the problem, perhaps "No paid lobbyists in DC" (let them stand in line at the local meet and greets just like the rest of us) would be better, one term would hardly let them learn where the restrooms are let alone be effective on issues covering generations of people, and reps already spend all their time fund raising (the real problem)
said by karlmarx:

Step #4: When you ARE elected, ALL your ASSETS are put in a government fund, if the government MAKES money, you MAKE money, if the government spends more than it makes, then you LOSE money. I guarantee you ALL corporate tax breaks, all pork spending would disappear overnight.

NO, The problem is already that they are profit driven for them.
We know our form of gov't isn't all that efficient, so turning over many problems to a bunch of mindless bean counters won't give them long term vision take broadband you would never see the long term investment needed if you make them even more beholden to short term five year, two year, next quarter return.
Maybe withholding a chunk of their wealth for 20-30 years to see where the economy is then, how have they helped the long term picture.
Raides

join:2004-09-27

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

tshirt, I like how you completely ignore my post. No reply? Is it true?
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Well being there is pretty much no competition your "drop the service" suggestion is a false choice. I guess your next suggestion would be to move and the next one after that would be to start your own ISP.

The community didn't like Comcast service, so the community decided to do something about it. If Comcast doesnt like it, then they should stop pushing their user's to want to do such a thing.

In addition, being you are hiding and posting anonymously with a Comcast address, you are more than likely an employee thus your words mean nothing. Surely if you were just a consumer you would want them to have this or any competition so that they stay on their toes and keep improving your service.

batman

@50.182.54.x

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

said by Skippy25:

In addition, being you are hiding and posting anonymously with a Comcast address, you are more than likely an employee thus your words mean nothing.

Not an employee; no relatives are employees; no friends are employees. But I am a customer. But more importantly, I believe in the capitalist system, and I think government should be MUCH smaller and not continually getting larger and larger as they are already doing.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

I believe that a capitalist system has failed when you have a monopoly situation as we do here. You can praise and bow down to the all mighty dollar all you want but that doesnt change anything.

I also believe that when the people of said government speak, that government is to provide for them. The people have spoke thus the government needs to provide.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

I have no problem with a co-op but not paid for by taxes of people that do not take the service.

I would support a government dark fiber network if it was region or at least covered an entire county. The customers would contact content providers and ISPs for internet they would lease the dark fiber and do the hookup. With that type of arrangement the network would be a utility that only provided transport but no content and be at arms length from the customer.

The utility fiber network if the content providers buy into it would give much more competition then a muni like the cable companies that gives you one choice.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

Jesus Christ it's not paid for by taxes. The utility issued bonds for the initial capital outlay and then pays for expenses through customer revenue.

batman

@50.182.54.x
said by Skippy25:

I also believe that when the people of said government speak, that government is to provide for them. The people have spoke thus the government needs to provide.

And that attitude is EXACTLY why this country is in the mess it is in today.

Quote:A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
Raides

join:2004-09-27

1 recommendation

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

And this is exactly what's happening. The big companies have discovered that if they dump enough money, they can own government. Regulatory capture. When you make billions in profit, $30,000 to buy off a few people is couch change. They are writing laws that benefit them, buying policy and watching their profits grow, while returning none of that money back into the economy. Comcast's ass gets fatter by the minute.

You can't deny the growing unrest with the wealth gap in the United States.
Cal

join:2014-04-23
Asbestos, QC
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable

1 recommendation

said by batman :

said by n2jtx:

said by batman :

Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors and I can't blame them. They pay taxes in all these states; their employees pay taxes in all these states.

Why stop there? There are plenty of things our taxes are used to fund that many people will disagree with. There are times I wish I had a choice, like with United Way, where I can decide how my "contribution" is used.

One very big difference. Stop paying taxes because you don't like how they are spending it - they can lock you up; take your assets. Don't like Comcast service - drop the service.

This analogy is flawed if we can get locked up and our assets seized for not paying our taxes why should comcast not get locked up for not paying their taxes? Doesn't matter if it is because they do not want taxpayer funded competition.

The analogy is about comcast as a company having "rights" like an individual. If we as individuals have no say in how our taxes are used neither should comcast.
Kamus

join:2011-01-27
El Paso, TX
Yes, I'm sure he can just drop the service and go with one of the multiple competitors.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
First off, they could pull out of the state and stop paying taxes there now couldnt they? I would also be willing to bet that they are receiving some "incentives" in the way of taxes as well so they can leave those at the door when they leave.

Second, regardless of how they feel, if the community wants it and they vote for it. Then the community provides it. It is their money and their desire which trumps any businesses' desires. If they don't like that, then see point #1.

Lastly, if they were doing such a bang up job there, why would communities want/need to build a competitor? Certainly if they were providing a great service for a great price then there wouldn't even be anyone in the community talking about this. Clearly they are not so again, see point #1 and follow that up with point #2.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

said by Skippy25:

why would communities want/need to build a competitor?

Do communities really WANT to pay the price of overbuilding functional private systems?

I know you do, and some other, but in many situations if TAXPAYERS are given the entire TRUE cost of completing a competive (OR better) system then an existing cable or other HSI network, and the TRUE risks incurred (iProvo and many others) you probably wouldn't see a thumbs up vote.

Not that I support a total ban, but requiring public entities to do a full transparent and complete due diligence process BEFORE commiting to a USF like indenturing of public funds and bonding authority for an unknown benefit.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

said by tshirt:

said by Skippy25:

why would communities want/need to build a competitor?

Do communities really WANT to pay the price of overbuilding functional private systems?

I know you do, and some other, but in many situations if TAXPAYERS are given the entire TRUE cost of completing a competive (OR better) system then an existing cable or other HSI network, and the TRUE risks incurred (iProvo and many others) you probably wouldn't see a thumbs up vote.

Not that I support a total ban, but requiring public entities to do a full transparent and complete due diligence process BEFORE commiting to a USF like indenturing of public funds and bonding authority for an unknown benefit.

You're trying to claim you know better than the communities that majority voted for these systems to be built. That they're just ignorant and stupid and don't know what they're getting into. They're just being fooled... By who? How patronizing and condescending can you possibly be? Concern troll much?

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

Re: Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors

said by sonicmerlin:

you know better than the communities that majority voted for these systems to be built.

NAME 3 that actually had an informed MAJORITY vote and were blocked.
now go back and read the last line of my previous post.
kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
If communities were spending money to bring brawndo (idiocracy reference) to my tap you'd have more of a point. Communities suffer when they lack viable broadband. Like it or not, the internet is a necessity, and with no private interest or options, what are communities supposed to do?

Just like I don't want Nestle serving up what comes out of my tap, I don't think it's a waste for communities to build their own, when no good options exist.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Neither do the taxpayers.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Of course they want to continue to have a monopoly or a near-monopoly. That doesn't make it right. Just another sign of a totally broken political system that can be so easily bribed to make incredibly stupid legislation.
kinda pissed

join:2012-06-06
Newsoms, VA
said by batman :

Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors and I can't blame them. They pay taxes in all these states; their employees pay taxes in all these states. Why should they want to fund a competitor thru their own taxes. They have the same rights as any taxpayer - to lobby politicians to see things their way. And unless lobbying laws and election laws are changed to stop contributions to political candidates, they have to play by the laws as they exist.

said by batman :

Comcast doesn't want taxpayer funded competitors and I can't blame them. They pay taxes in all these states; their employees pay taxes in all these states. Why should they want to fund a competitor thru their own taxes. They have the same rights as any taxpayer - to lobby politicians to see things their way. And unless lobbying laws and election laws are changed to stop contributions to political candidates, they have to play by the laws as they exist.

Can't say I'm to worried about what greedy ass rich as heck Comcast wants
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON
Isn't it easier to say that the system is corrupted?

I'm sure people can't frankly come out and start accusing your sanity for that, because that would be suspicious.

bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
·Wave Broadband

2 recommendations

Comcast

»www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.ph···exType=s

Comcast & the NCTA spent more on lobbying than the Koch Brothers, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, GE, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Exxon, Pfizer, and dozens of other nasty corporations just to help you, the consumer! Thanks, Comcast!

/sarcasm
Brim77

join:2012-03-16
Lansing, MI
Reviews:
·Spartan-net

1 recommendation

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.

Corporations are made to make a profit. The American Government is to serve the people. When the free market refuses to provide what customers want, then the government SHOULD step in with a solution. Flood insurance is an excellent example.

Marsha Blackburn is a yearly candidate for Most Corrupt Congressman, an overpaid industry shill and an embarrassment for our political system. She champions the US telecom industry while former countries of the USSR go speeding by us in worldwide broadband. This lady is not to be taken seriously.

She treats taxpayers as toddlers and Mama Blackburn knows what's best for us. If she doesn't watch us closely, we might do something silly like play with matches near gasoline! Or vote to create our own ISP since the free market she champions REFUSES to provide it at a REASONABLE price. The horror!

I find WAY too much satisfaction in watching big telecom squirm at the thought of having REAL competition. And the most ironic part? Their competitors would be taxpayers. The same taxpayers that they have been screwing for DECADES.

••••
outatyme

join:2006-10-05
Tallahassee, FL

chump change?

It's a shame to see that 'regulators' can be bought for the chump change price of $60,000 - to you and me that's alot! - to these people that's chump change!
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC

Re: chump change?

The problem is the voter keep voting for her and other like her. ALEC hands them the pre-written bills and they don't even read what they are voting for. The voters keep sending them back.

atcotr

@65.60.144.x
That's not where the real money is. Often they get a cushy job with a title of "senior VP for governmental affairs," a seat on a board of directors, or become a lobbyist.
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

1 edit

1 recommendation

Replay of the fight between the power cartel and the TVA in the 30's

This same B.S. went on in the fight between the electric power cartel and the government's attempt to distribute power through the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Rural Electrification Administration. The governments action caused the power cartel to scream like stuck pigs. They would not extend the power grid to rural areas because it cost to much per customer to extend service. A perfect example of cherry picking by the power cartel. Rural America was saved by the Electrical Power Cooperatives that financed extension of service through low interest Rural Electrical Administration loans. We need a new deal to replace the dirty deal American citizens are receiving.
ackman

join:2000-10-04
Atlanta, GA

Comcast is horrible

A rotten, dishonest business, but they're successful because Congress and FCC can be bought.

w0g
o.O

join:2001-08-30
Springfield, OR

1 edit

this is why America still doesn't have..

10Gbps fiber to the home today or even 40Gbps fiber.

because of these shit bills and methods of stifling competition.

we have today serve capacity issues primarily because the companies controlling the internet refuse to upgrade and refuse to innovate, preferring to pocket the cash instead.

now if these limits were removed, we could be able to get rid of cable, and copper lines, and bullshit "fiber to the node" technologies, and fully wire up each house with uncapped fiber. we would then have a modern network worth having with zero capacity issues. meaning Netflix would stream, so would the stream from my neighbors pirated TV signal, and I could become my own internet business from home, and we'd have no need for cloud services because everything could be stored locally on our house networks which would have fast enough connectivity to push out to our remote devices.

best of all there would never again be a time when transmission speed was less than 10MBytes/sec because the whole bottleneck of cable and DSL would be lifted forever. this just means that downloads would never even on a rare occasion drop to kB/sec or kbps. 10MBytes/sec would be the minimum, normally flying at 100MByte/sec or even much higher. because THERE WAS NO MORE ARTIFICIAL CAPS AT ALL. IT WOULD FLY WITH ALL NEW NETWORK ARCHITECTURE THAT IS CAPABLE OF HANDLING EXEBYTES/SEC ON A SINGLE ROUTER. I AM TALKING ABOUT NORMAL INTERNET SPEED BEING THE LIMIT OF HOW FAST COMPUTERS CAN TRANSFER OVER THE INTERNET, AT SSD/HD/DRAM SPEED, INCREASING THE SLOWEST RATES FROM 100kB/sec to 10MB/SEC OR HIGHER WITH TODAYS TECH.
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