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Happy Birthday to Comcast: 50 Years Old
by Karl Bode 04:09PM Monday Nov 11 2013
It was fifty years ago that Ralph J. Roberts paid $350,000 for several small cable systems in Mississippi with less than a few thousand users. Fifty years later and Comcast is the largest broadband company, largest TV provider, and third-largest phone company in the United States -- before you even consider their NBC assets.

Comcast's hometown paper the Philly Inquirer pens quite the Comcast birthday love letter, lavishing praise on Comcast for being Philly's "claim to 21st-century economic modernity and viability" while rather floating over most if not all of Comcast's more negative attributes. Comcast employees get free lunch on November 20, when Comcast will officially celebrate its November 13 birthday due to a "scheduling conflict."

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HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:5

2 recommendations

There's no such thing

as a free lunch.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Happy Birthday


Worst Company In America 2010

Duramax08
To The Moon
Premium
join:2008-08-03
San Antonio, TX

Happy Birthday Promotion

Rate hikes for everyone!
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

they only got to there they did by buying up other systems and TCI

they only got to there they did by buying up other systems and TCI
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: they only got to there they did by buying up other systems and TCI

That's how conglomerates form. That's business. Not necessarily a bad thing and it doesn't change Comcast's success over the last 50 years.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: they only got to there they did by buying up other systems and TCI

Like Cisco, Microsoft, Apple, and others?
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: they only got to there they did by buying up other systems and TCI

Yes. All successful, grown upon acquisitions of successful companies or businesses with potential.
eco
Premium
join:2001-11-28
Wilmington, DE

Re: they only got to there they did by buying up other systems and TCI

Actually it could be said that most of Apple and Microsoft's businesses were grown in house. They often acquired smaller companies to add some features to those big products but the products themselves came out of internal development. Only very recently has Microsoft been making large scale acquisitions like Skype and Nokia.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: they only got to there they did by buying up other systems and TCI

Both have acquired numerous companies along the way either to incorporate, or suppress, competitors' technologies. "Internal development" exists everywhere, but to suggest that Apple's or Microsoft's products aren't what they are today because they didn't acquire major technologies along the way is nearsighted.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

33 years till the breakup

It took 83 years to break up Ma' Bell's monopoly on the telephone.

Maybe in another 33 years (when Comcast turns 83) the FCC and DOJ will have the guts to breakup Comcast's monopoly on residential broadband internet and bring real broadband and cable TV competition.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
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Re: 33 years till the breakup

I know you always pedal this idea, and use this to show off your limited knowledge of the telcom industry, but could you please explain to me how breaking up Comcast will increase competition? If Comcast is broken up, which it won't be, why you entertain yourself with such an idea is beyond me, but if Comcast is broken up, and Comcast Philadelphia becomes Castcom and Comcast Houston becomes Cablecast, how does that increase competition?
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Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
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1 recommendation

Oh no! Please dont let the DOJ break up yet another telecom giant! We will have "Baby Casts" that will discover wireless as pure profit and let the cable side rot.

NO NO NO NO NO

Comcast at least dumps money into CableLabs...if it was not for Comcast I would still be stuck on 3mbit DSL from Verizon, the baby bell that does not care.

These breakups only work with regulation, but thanks to the hands free corporations are people attitude of the Gov, it wont work.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26
It's not that they need to be broke up, and I'm talking other cable companies too, but cities/towns need to allow for more than 1 cable provider, if you want competition.
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skuv

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Well since the Federal Government and tax payers did not pay for the cable infrastructure like they did the AT&T infrastructure that they broke up, it's not the same situation at all.

Tired of people calling for this break up and not at all understanding the AT&T break up in the first place.

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA
Why would you want to break up the only company willing to invest in providing high speed internet to your area. Seems counter productive to me.
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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Springfield, MA
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Reviews:
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1 edit

Re: 33 years till the breakup

What I am basically saying is they should be forced to allow competing ISPs to lease access to their networks at cost like the phone companies did during the dial-up days during the '90s. I think cable companies should be limited to data transport, content should be limited to third parties. That was affirmed back in the 1940's when the US Supreme Court ordered the movie studios to divest from the theater business.

--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
Happydude32
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Re: 33 years till the breakup

quote:
What I am basically saying is they should be forced to allow competing ISPs to lease access to their networks at cost
Why?

Totally different the dial up. With dial up, you made a phone call, just like any other phone call and it traveled along the lines. And I can't see what a case from the 40s has anything to do with the internet.

Your idea will NEVER happen, what don't you understand.
--
4/17/13 - A Beautiful Day For Freedom, Thank You United States Senate!
Message to Anti-Gun Liberals: HA HA!
Hussein Obama 0, American Public 1
Repeal Obamacare Now!

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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·Comcast

Re: 33 years till the breakup

The reason I support breaking them up is their unresponsive customer service. I cannot count how many times I've called their support and they tried to blame my equipment (when it was obviously their side of the ball game) or have had a technician in my house who says everything is ok when it's not. And I had a tech who saw the problem and he basically started screaming at his supervisor when the supervisor told him his meter was broke. They look at me as a problem customer for repeat trouble calls when they just don't want to fix the problem. I pay for a service, I expect it to work.

Now only if I can get them to pay for my cellular backup connection that I got from Verizon Wireless but that's a pipe dream.

If they actually had to compete for business or had to answer to state public utilities commissions, this nonsense would not be happening. Competition is good for business and good for consumers. That's why there is the Sherman Antitrust Act, it's just not being enforced due to incompetent regulators.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

FureverFurry
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join:2012-02-20
Wyoming, MI
Reviews:
·Vonage
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Re: 33 years till the breakup

Breaking up the Comcast/Xfinity monopoly will be a good thing: competition DOES benefit everyone. From the Standard Oil monopoly breakup came Exxon and a slew of other companies. Comcast has gotten too big for it's corporate britches. They are the "company store" type business of the 21st century.

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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·Verizon Online DSL

Re: 33 years till the breakup

The problem with these breakups is that it does not create competition within a geography, they merly break up the larger unit into mini-monopolies. See the Bell System for the end result. Bell Atlantic was the monopoly POTS provider still until the 96 deregulation in my area, and even then they would drag their feet to allow a CLEC access to your copper pair.

Breaking up Comcast into Baby Casts would be just as bad. So instead of lets say "Comcast of Virginia" being the only cable company in my case, it would just be some new name. Still only 1 choice.

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
That would be awful. Unlike the phone companies, they actually invested their money in your community and their network. They did not rely on the taxpayers footing the entire bill in exchange for monopoly protection like the telcos. Do you advocate the government stepping into other privately owned businesses and telling them how to handle their core business?
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Re: 33 years till the breakup

said by PaulHikeS2:

That would be awful. Unlike the phone companies, they actually invested their money in your community and their network. They did not rely on the taxpayers footing the entire bill in exchange for monopoly protection like the telcos. Do you advocate the government stepping into other privately owned businesses and telling them how to handle their core business?

That has actually happened when they forced the movie studios to split from the theater business.

Then there was the cases where the government blocked mergers/acquisitions due to antitrust concerns, most notably the AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile.

Then there are cases where they set terms of mergers/acquisitions such as divestitures like when Time Warner/Comcast bought the assets of the former Adelphia they had to swap systems and divest others in certain markets. In that case I wished our system here in Springfield would have gone to Time Warner (I've dealt with them at grandma's house in Maine and they are better).
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2

Great...

Comcast and I have the same birthday. FML.

Comcast is a Scorpio, who knew?

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
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Lucky us.

I am not sure I feel like celebrating a near monopoly and a heavy lobbyist. Break up will not do anything, a pro competitive regulation would do a lot- dreaming here.
But still, you are not a corporation, you are a person, according the eternal wisdom of the Supreme Corporate Court, so Happy Birthday, Mr. Comcast !

Philly loves

@comcast.net

Philly loves the jobs & taxes that Comcast pays

You bet Philly loves Comcast. Their headquarters is there & they pay tons of wage taxes and real estate taxes to the city. Philly would love to have many more companies the size of Comcast in the city.

NRalph

@comcast.net

50 years old

Nov. 20.... Still cant keep scheduled appointments
dagg

join:2001-03-25
Galt, CA

Re: 50 years old

well lets be fair... right around 50 is where the memory starts to get faulty.

beze

join:2006-09-05
Albuquerque, NM

UGH

"...Comcast will officially celebrate its November 13 birthday due to a "scheduling conflict.""

That figures.

jussayin

@myvzw.com

1 recommendation

Re: UGH

November 13th is actually the company wide veterans celebration. Worthy conflict.