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Even Verizon Doesn't Think LTE's a Real Competitor For Comcast
by Karl Bode 02:53PM Wednesday Aug 06 2014
To get their acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved, Comcast has been claiming that pretty much every company in existence technically competes with Comcast, therefore all that competition will organically keep Comcast honest. Even though Google Fiber only impacts a tiny, tiny fraction of Comcast's overall userbase, Comcast claims that's enough competition to keep the company on its very best behavior. Comcast has even gone so far as to claim Comcast-owned Hulu will keep Comcast honest.

The company has also tried to argue that because LTE wireless is improving, it too is another example of competitive pressure facing the company (even though Comcast sells Verizon Wireless services). Amusingly, speaking with reporters recently, even Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead argued that this wasn't really true:
"They're trying to get deals approved, right, and I understand that... their focus is different than my focus right now, because I don't have any deals pending," Mead said, a reference to the fact that Comcast is looking for ways to justify the TWC buy. "LTE certainly can compete with broadband, but if you look at the physics and the engineering of it, we don't see LTE being as efficient as fiber coming into the home."

Before moving to Verizon's wireless unit, Mead held executive roles in the company's landline business, responsible for traditional telephone service and high-speed internet to the home. "We know both sides of that pretty well," he continued. "So that may be a little bit of a stretch, and the economics are much different."
By pretending that everybody competes with Comcast, Comcast hopes everybody ignores the company's growing stranglehold on the last-mile broadband market, a position of power that's only growing as companies like AT&T and Verizon back away from DSL users in markets they don't want to upgrade (something that's happening whether or not the merger goes through).

Capped, pricey LTE service certainly isn't a real competitor for Comcast -- especially since they're in a marketing agreement with Verizon to help sell it as an added complementary service -- not a replacement.

topics flat nest 


Limestone, ME

4 recommendations

Holy Crap

For once they are right.
Wireless is inferior to wired for home internet.

Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Re: Holy Crap

As I have said numerous times....

Wireless is a great second connection for when you are on the go, but is not and will never be able to keep up with wired and bring matching capabilities to the fight against it.

Wireless, though has the advantage of being portable, is still a second rate connection.


1 recommendation

But didn't they claim that LTE was just fine for this before?

When they cut off a bunch of DSL users and the statement says fiber to the home not coax like Comcast uses 99% of the time.

Madison, AL

Re: But didn't they claim that LTE was just fine for this before?

Do as I say, not as I do...

Miami, FL
It is shocking he would say that. The head of public policy and government affairs at Verizon probably blew a gasket when he read that quote.

Lincroft, NJ

Re: But didn't they claim that LTE was just fine for this before?


»Verizon Home Fusion LTE Service Arrives

»Verizon's Dupe of Frontier, Fairpoint Comes Full Circle

That others may surf
Using LTE as a landline and DSL replacement doesn't mean its competitive with cable broadband speeds.
You cannot fix a problem that you refuse to acknowledge.
Exactly what I thought. The wireless providers have been pushing lte as a viable substitute, which it isn't and verizon/att abandon much of their wireline market.

Cleveland, OH
·AT&T U-Verse

Home LTE service

Don't they (Verizon) already have a home LTE service that they sell? You mount an antenna on the outside of your house.

»www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/lte- ··· stalled/

Sherwood, MI

1 edit

Re: Home LTE service

We have that since cable and dsl aren't available, our road segment (between two other crossing roads) is a CATV dead zone. It's way better than satellite but still isn't acceptable because of the base cost for the data plan and huge costs that can be incurred from overages trying to use it like a wired service (streaming, downloading and updating games, etc) or aren't careful with malware or even legit programs that may use large amounts of bandwidth in the background.

No sane person would choose wireless when Cable/DSL is available but I do see satellite internet dishes on houses smack dab in the middle of town.

Our long-term guests who are used to having cable also do not understand when we tell them that they cannot use the internet like they can at their home but do so anyway.

North Tonawanda, NY

Re: Home LTE service

There are some homes in my neighborhood using Jetpacks for home Internet, despite both DSL and Cable being available. Won't ever understand why they do that.

united state
Yeah we have two wireless connections -- unlimited grandfathered 3G Sprint and a 4G capped AT&T as backup because the tower we're on has issues at times.

said by redxii:

Our long-term guests who are used to having cable also do not understand when we tell them that they cannot use the internet like they can at their home but do so anyway.

We have a guest network set up, but only on the Sprint 3G, any guests we have get the password to that, they don't get to touch the 4G.

What I think would be nice would be a router that lets you have a guest network and limit the bandwidth ("network management", to use telco terminology). Because then you could let your guests on the 4G network but have it throttled to like 256 kbps, plenty fine for e-mail, but not enough to really do anything to intense to burn through your cap.


Re: Home LTE service

said by telcodad:


If Sprint used their 2500 MHz spectrum for this they could offer caps more in line with cable. Yes I know propagation and penetration issues with 2500 MHz but these fixed services use more powerful OUTDOOR antennas so that should be somewhat mitigated.

Yes and it competes with satellite not cable. $60 for 10 GB, $90 for 20 GB and $120 for 30 GB. Considering I pay $50 for 250 GB for cable it's no competition.


Purcellville, VA
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

6 recommendations

Ah, Verizons master plan

Its been pretty well known that Verizon's master plan under McAdam has been the following:

Freeze FIOS expansion unless forced by franchise
Freeze DSL expansion unless your in PA, blasted BFFR law!
Allow the copper plant to deteriorate, even in areas without FIOS. Maintenance costs way too much money (I don't mind this in areas overbuilt with fiber. But letting non-overbuilt areas fall apart, NO!)

And then sell back to the abandoned copper-only areas without cable 4G LTE at high prices. Whats that, the DSLAM broke? Here, have LTE. We never built out broadband to your semi-rural CO? Have LTE!

FIOS is only about 30-35% of the VZ service area as admitted by the VZ CTO (he said anywhere from 20% to 50% but the lower is more likely...)
Its nice to see that Verizon has a 2-faced show going on here. LTE is great for home internet! No its not it cant compete with cable! Yes it is, the money! No it isn't!

I hope somebody in a position of power at VZ will finally wake up and see that the McAdam/Shamo policies are going to totally wreck the company in the long term. Bring Seidenberg out of retirement or something - at least he had vision and came up from the wireline side of the house, working his way up to CEO.

Its not too late yet to recover from the impending infrastructure disaster VZ is inflicting on itself. A lot of the copper plant could be quickly redeemed by plopping down some VDSL2 and patching up the plant as a stopgap before they build out FIOS.

220, 221, Whatever It Takes.

Re: Ah, Verizons master plan

as a retiree, i know that truer words were never typed.

Amen brother!!!!


1 recommendation

THIS! FiOS workers here agree that the post '08 managment was better. I still don't understand why we're hurting for internet in this country. With the BILLIONS we gave in taxes and fees and breaks, reasonable internet should be attainable to all. DOCSIS 3.0/3.1, DSL Rings/Fiber itself/and in the worst of area's Wireless or Ka band satellite. Why isn't this all happening.

Jason Levine

Comcast competing with Comcast

With Comcast claiming everyone is competition - and therefore will keep them honest, how long until Comcast claims that the different speed tiers they offer are actually self-competition and will keep them honest? It's the next logical step in their "vast array of competition" lineup.
-Jason Levine

Chesterfield, MO

Re: Comcast competing with Comcast

Never though of speed tiers as "baby bells" but someone is bound to try it!


Glen Head, NY

Maybe A Chance To Kill This Acquisition

With T-Mobile off of Sprint's RADAR now without a formal government review, that leaves two mega-deals on the FCC's plate. Perhaps they will now be more inclined to scotch this merger since they were worried about nixing too many deals.
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

Lincroft, NJ

Re: Maybe A Chance To Kill This Acquisition

said by n2jtx:

... Perhaps they will now be more inclined to scotch this merger since they were worried about nixing too many deals.

Actually, some analysts are saying the opposite:

Analyst: No Sprint/T-Mobile Deal Helps Comcast/TWC, FCC
Reacts To Reports That Mobile Deal Is Being Scuttled

By John Eggerton, Multichannel News - August 6, 2014
»www.multichannel.com/news/techno ··· c/382999
Bernstein Research says that if T-Mobile and Sprint drop their merger plans, as expected, it will benefit other potential merger partners Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV, as well as the regulator faced with those two, already filed, deal proposals.
In a note to clients, senior analyst Paul de Sa and his team said that they continued to expect Comcast/TWC and AT&T/DirecTV to be approved and close by the first quarter of 2015. The benefit to them of taking T-Mobile/Sprint out of the equation is one less mega-merger being filed that could slow down the review processes at the FCC.

The FCC will benefit, they suggest, for that same reason, as well as gaining more certainty around the 600 MHz auction and showing that "– it can still be a relevant institution, able to resist high-profile lobbying campaigns and ignore distractions such as auction promises and attempts to negotiate by press leak."

Lexington Park, MD

1 recommendation

didnt they

just get done telling new jersey they met their obligation to provide residential broadband by saying the lte was the answer??

·AT&T U-Verse

Re: didnt they

comcast is a bunch of crooks, I used to be in their service area and they would nickel and dime you to death. I'm going to use that "amnesty" thing to my advantage on a bill they say I owe from 10 years ago. if they won't do it they still won't get paid by me. i would not subscribe to anything comcast offers ever again....most corrupt and untrustworthy telecom company in existence.

Lincroft, NJ

Cost of Streaming via LTE or Satellite vs. Cable

Comcast Says Mobile Data Is Competitive, But It Costs $2k To Stream Breaking Bad Over LTE
By Kate Cox, Consumerist - August 18, 2014
»consumerist.com/2014/08/18/comca ··· over-lte