So much for competitive utopia...
Despite the entrance of Verizon's FiOS in one of the most competitive TV & broadband markets in the country, Comcast cable TV prices in Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland continue to rise, notes the Washington Post
. Comcast blames the hike on content and customer service costs, though the company has been fined twice now
by Montgomery County, Maryland, for not providing the latter. Meanwhile, Verizon has raised TV rates by 7.6% and RCN by 15%.
As we mentioned last week
, telco DSL and bundle rates are also on the upswing. Now that the telcos can provide faster speeds and advanced services, it appears they're copying the cable industry playbook and will compete on "value equation"
and not necessarily price
. Granted these telcoTV efforts have only just got off the ground -- and we could see improvement with wider deployment and the release of independent TV offerings such as Zudeo
. Then again, we could simply be in for a decade of coordinated duopoly disguised as competition, resulting in higher prices for all -- with all the promises of video competition being simply legislator pillow talk.