Well, I'd concur on the merger, this type of vertical integration is disconcerting to say the least. Time Warner spun off
Time Warner Cable to separate the production and delivery aspects of its business, which is what should be happening in this business. On an unrelated note, as a GE shareholder, I think it was a boneheaded move on their part to sell NBC, but that's a different discussion altogether.
I do think they should be compelled to offer a basic tier of internet service, alongside the basic tier of cable (e.g., broadcast only) service they've always had to offer. Heck, they should also have to offer a basic tier (e.g., local calling only, no special features like call waiting or caller id) of phone service, since they are well on their way to driving the ILECs out of the landline market.
These basic services should be available to everyone, regardless of income or other special circumstances. For the internet and phone service they should have to accept a reasonable (say three months) payment plan for customers in arrears, these are essential 'utility' services that shouldn't be outright denied to anyone, so long as the customer is willing to make a good faith effort to repay what they owe. Heck, you could even allow them to ask for a deposit, as the phone and power companies can, repayable in full with interest after 12 months of timely payments.