Telcos, Cable Companies Come Under Fire For Antitrust Actions

from the trouble-in-monopoly-land dept

As we’ve stated (yes, ad nauseum by this point), the real issue in the net neutrality/broadband world is the lack of real competition in the space. The telcos and their lobbyists hit back claiming that there’s “plenty” of competition — and usually trot out the FCC’s misleading stats that only look at broadband on at the zip code level (so if a provider offers broadband to a single house in a zip code, the stats claim it offers it to all houses in that zip code). There’s also a question about whether or not two competitors (telco and cable, in most cases) represent real competition or not. However, it appears that both telcos and cable companies are facing legal challenges concerning monopolistic behavior in various markets. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that accuses the telcos of collusion in not competing in local markets following the Telecom Act of 1996. That Act was supposed to encourage competition, though it’s since been gutted. However, even when it was fully in place, the regional telcos still chose not to move to get into the markets that the others ran — thereby leaving them each with a local monopoly. The telcos claim that since there’s no evidence of overt collusion, there’s no truth to the collusion claim. Meanwhile, in the cable world, Arizona is looking at fining Cox $2 million for arranging special deals that would prevent any competitors (including telcos) from offering service in new developments. So, whether or not you believe that there really is a competitive market in these services — it certainly looks like the companies in this space are doing everything they can to keep as monopolistic a position as possible.

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Comments on “Telcos, Cable Companies Come Under Fire For Antitrust Actions”

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grr says:

stuck in streetsboro

I hope this actually pulls through. I just moved into an apartment complex that has the absolute, most abysmal ‘high speed’ (laughable claim at best!) available. The ISP is MyeSuite and they are absolutely awful. The problem is, I’m pretty much forced to use them (my alternative is dial up, which may just be more reliable). The complex has a deal with this ISP host to ONLY use their service. Time Warner, AT&T (SBC) Yahoo!, Adelphia and a few others are in the vicinity, but we can’t use them because of this stupid agreement between the development and MyeSuites.

It doesn’t stop there. I’m forced to use their cable company-CableNet and then if I want expanded service, I HAVE to use DirecTV. But, I can’t go directly through DirecTV for my equipment–I’ve got to go through CableNet to purchase my DirecTV equipment and service package! I’m also not allowed to have my own satellite dish–I’ve got to hook my service up through the satellite dish hosted by CableNet! Talk about monopolizing the service(s)!

I have to work from home on occassion and I can’t because this ISP is terrible. I’m lucky when I get an upload speed of 541kbps and a download speed of 197kbps–and the company technician says this is good/normal!! I was absolutely agog when this guy stood in my living room and told me that this connection speed was pretty good. HUH??!!

Anyway, I’d like to see someone step in and break up this monopoly these people have going on. It’s frustrating to say the least.

anon says:

Re: stuck in streetsboro

The reason they think that’s a good speed is because they don’t know better. These are not technical people…they are people who are trained to do only that particular job for that particular company. I know the technicians at my local ISP couldn’t even hook the phone line up to the DSL modem at my house. Imagine my horror when I come home from work to find out that the tech jammed the telephone line into my wireless router!

The problem is that they take people who are probably very good at the jobs they usually do (i.e. cable television repair-person or telephone repair-person), then drop them into a position that requires them to learn a whole new skill expecting them to understand what is going on without any serious training. The guy who thought that was a good speed probably believed that since it was better than his dialup, it must be great.

No one will stop a monopolistic business structure without incentive, either good or bad. If they aren’t being called on it, then great! They can charge what they like. If they are given a list of good things that will happen if they open up to a bit of competition, then they will do that (assuming the good things are better than the benifits of being a monopoly). If someone says “Bad monopoly! Quit trying to weasle your way into other markets by using your super monopoly powers!”, then it depends on how seriously the monopoly takes the threat, and what they stand to lose. This means that they will stay who they are as long as that is gives the greatest bottom line, or switch to whatever helps their business (and their pocketbook) the most.

At least, that’s what greedy bastards like myself would do.

Alpharocker (user link) says:

Re: stuck in streetsboro


Not really sure thats the same thing as the ISPs colluding to not compete (although, I will agree, it has the same frustrating effects). It sounds like the problem that you are suffering through is being caused by the terms of your lease, etc. Not exactly the same issue, but like I said, it does sound frustrating.

The most frustrating thing, I believe, is that Techdirt has consistently been correct in that the problem in this debate is a lack of competition, and that isn’t innocent. The real problem with a lack of competition is systematic, and systemic, however. We are talking about trying to maintain the democratic and shared access nature of the internet, in a society and economic system based on power structures and financial biases. It just seems unlikely to me that the internet is any different from anything else, in that, it would be able to maintain itself as something not based around a power structure.

Don says:

Re: Re: stuck in streetsboro

Yeah, more what we have here is a monopoly that tries to throw it’s weight around. THey are upset because we are providing their customers a way better deal on bandwidth we buy from a competitor.

Talk about stifiling competition. I have to fight tooth and nail to get them (the monopoly) to clean up the conduits so we can even have any competition. It’s ridiculous.

eNola says:

Re: stuck in streetsboro

Unfortunately, the situations covered by this article still won’t apply to you, grr. Living in an apartment complex, you’re technically on private property. If the management company/owner says you can only have a certain service because of some deal they have worked out with the provider (I’ve been on the provider end of one of these deals, so I know how they work out), then that’s the only choice you have. It’s their property, so they can decide what can be offered there. Your situation isn’t a monopoly that can be legally broken. You’ll only gain the right against monopoly such as that mentioned in the above article once you are on your own property or at a complex that doesn’t have such restrictions. Your problem isn’t with the service provider (even if their service is crappy) so much as it’s with your property management company.

Peter Kusner says:

Re: stuck in streetsboro

Dear stuck,

My name is Peter Kusner and I am the President of My Esuite. I would love to have the oppertunity to speak with you about your slow speeds.

We provide 3 megs of bandwidth at your complex and only you and your neighbors have access. If you are having issues I would be happy to come check it out myself and try to make your surfing experience better.

We do our best to provide extrordinary customer service.

Please contact me at 440-519-3339 ext 3331


Internet Abyss.................... says:

Re: stuck in streetsboro

I also have the abyssmal problem, only my internet modem has failed TWICE!!. And this time it’s the holiday weekend and I called them on WEDNESDAY!! It’s Saturday now and I have to wait till after the holiday. Thank god I have a data link cable for my cell phone that I’m typing this through right now. If anyone else in this damn SHADY LAKE complex would like to step up to the plate with me, we may be able to do something about it.

Never says:

Re: Re: stuck in streetsboro

I believe (though don’t quote me) they are trying to get SBC into the complex. I know from talking to the leasing office at Shady that they have called both SBC/ATT and Time Warner to see where the lines are. You might notice too when you drive in, there’s “SBC DIGITAL’ spray painted on the sidewalk to the right.

Here’s hoping they get something better in. I’m not going back to dial-up but I’m seriously considering a Verizon Aircard. It’s faster than dial-up (not much though) and at least it’s stable.

Pat says:

Re: stuck in streetsboro

Wow, sounds like your complex is owned by the same company as mine. I live in Beachwood, Ohio and we also have Cablenet and have recently gotten esuites. In a call to AT&T, I was told I couldn’t get high speed internet because my lines are too long (whatever that means!) even though I had SBC high speed a couple of years ago. Of course, since then, esuites has come into our property and I suspect that is the development’s way of locking things up to keep out competitors.

Bantec says:

Customer Service?

The other problem is customer service. Once a Telecom owns an area, they no longer have to be helpful. I just got off the phone with Comcast regarding an issue of overbilling, and after forty minutes of being passed around I came to understanding that they were basically saying “Tough sh@#”. I could go to a dish system, but then they would jack up my internet service. They have you by the balls and they know it. I live in NJ and Verizon is hammering away at their fibre rollout. This is pleasing, because I know they are going to eat into Comcasts business, but then again I’ve had dealings with Verizon’s so called customer service. I think they both outsource to the same company.

jtw says:

Re: Customer Service?

Take the time to write your congressman with details of your billing experience. This will get action-at least ONCE. But remember your USrep probably has ADD (attention deficit disorder) so only your first complaint will be taken seriously, after that you’ll need to organize a petition of like minds! Don’t be a victim!

Don says:

A compromise

I am the IT department for an office building owner in Hawaii. I deal with monopolistic telcos all day long. I have rolled out 10 Mb Internet to all of our buildings (although I do not FORCE the tenants to use the service) and most of the tenants are more than happy to be paying $10-$20 a month for this service. I have the opposite problem of the apartments, i have the telcos constantly cutting the Internet lines because they believe they own the whole infrastructure in our buildings.

Here in hawaii we have Maximum Point of Entry laws meaning that the telco owns the line all the way to it’s endpoint. They cannot cut the lines of other service providers, however. I spend countless hours filing complaints here with the PUC and so on. I hope they clean up this mess because it really is bothersome and costly to repair what the monopoly screws up.

Albert Smith says:

TELCOM and Monopoly

It seems to me the government picks and chooses its monopolies. Why would Arizona be upset at COX when EXXON and Mobile, the worlds two largest oil companies murge leaving basically four companies virtually runninng all this planets petroleum resources yet be upset with a telcom when there are plenty of them around.

This latest petroleum murger has further allowed the BIG FOUR Companies to dictate how much oil comes out of the ground, gets distilled into gas and other products, and their movement to the market. People in Arizona are paying sky high prices for gas at the pump and electricity for their homes. While there are a host of ways to communicate with each other. Don’t be fooled by what seems to be monopoly in communications when the very way you transport yourself is severly at risk.

Peter Kusner says:

Additionally we do not have a monopoly on the property, we have an agreement to provide internet service to any resident on the property, if the resident chooses our service we do our best to provide consistant speeds and reliability, however you must remeber we did not install the cable lines on that property and we do share the lines with the cable company and unfortunetely they have the right away. We have had way more happy customers at your property than unhappy. We provide service in Florida, Texas and Ohio. I am sorry that you are having problems with our service but I think it is important for you to know that we really care abour our customers and work hard to make them happy.

I look forward to hearing from you.


washcloth says:

Re: Re:

i also have myesuite wireless service and forced to have it. if i had a choice i would drop this service in a second. the speeds are slow (150 kb/s up/down), this is not highspeed to me. had to downgrade from 6 mb/s to this shit…its awefull…..freakin upgrade your service! and my connection never stays connected. i always have to log back in..whenever it rains the service goes out completely. and one more thing, i can’t foward ports….why the hell not!

Susan says:

we are all stuck with the same thing and it sucks. I have My e-suite in my apartment and cablenet, only because i am stuck with it and have no other option. i am having the same problems, it keeps getting disconnected. I constantly get disconnected, about 20 times each night when i get home from work. It so so frustrating, i jsut sit and swear at my computer all night. I have called and talked to customer service countless times with nothing being done about it.

Today i finally called my apartment complex and complained about My Esuite and the apartment manager told me to call the President of My Esuite Peter Kusner. I googled his name and found this site and some others where people are having the same problem as me!! I called Peter today and complained and supposedly there is some technician coming out to my apartment today to try to fix the problem. We will see what happens. Why cant i choose my ISP, i hate getting stuck with one and getting stuck with a crappy one at that. In my old apartment i had Cox Cable cable internet and i loved it and it cost me $9.99 a month. I never had any problems with it..then i move and get stuck with this crap. Anyone live in Foxmoor in Parma Heights, OH?

Never says:

Re: Re:

Do NOT let the techs walk into your apartment unsupervised!!!!

I had them coming in to check the wiring of the apartment unit. They didn’t check the wiring and instead tried to get into my PC’s. They couldn’t (I lock my PC’s) so instead they reset my router to factory defaults and claimed they fixed it. One of the girls in the managment office had problems connecting to her web mail so the tech came in and uninstalled all the virus protection and firewalls. Took about an hour to get so many virus’s and spyware that the system had to be reloaded.

It’s like all the fsk-ups in the world got together and created a company.

Jeremy says:

MyESuite sucks!!!!

I don’t live in Streetsboro, though I have the service in Shaker Square in Shaker House. I have had problems with downloading issues. I can’t even watch youtube, or yahoo movie trailers because it’s so slow!! I have complained to the tech service people about the problem and the man said he would look into it and call me back…he never did. I have a friend that lives in the same apartment and she seems to have no problems. I think thats because she doesn’t know what GOOD internet is like. I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and cancel after my trial period is up if the service doesn’t get any better.

Concerned Customer/ PISSED OFF says:

Tech Support and other concerns

ALl i know is i feel like i am constantly putting the tech support at the support # under the bus. They always seem concerned but as if they have no way to resolve any issues with this horrible company. I amalways told I will get a call back, but most of the time it doesnt happen. Not that it makes any difference, because when i do get a call back it seems as if the problem is made worse most of the time instead of better. The techs are horrible, this service sucks BAD, and someone in this company should be in trouble for fraduliently calling themselves and ISP. YOU DO NOT PROVIDE ANYTHING BUT TROUBLE AND NONWORKING SERVICE. Everyone at tech support is so nice, but the people who call back are brainless. BRAINLESS. enough said, DEATH TO MY ESUITE… PLLLLLLLLEASE

Never says:

Re: How is this company still doing business

Ah but there’s the rub. They have a contract with the leasing office. Kusner can come in here and say he doesn’t, but his email is for (doesn’t even use his own freaking company’s email) which supplies hardware to cable companies. Say like CableNet which they come in on. So the property gives the provider a break and in return doesn’t let anyone else in.

Shady Lake is within the CO for SBC. All it needs is the switch. I would strongly urge anyone to contact the leasing office to let them know you want another high speed provider.

MyEsuite Wireless Insider says:

MyEsuite Wireless behind the scenes

MyEsuite Wireless is a joke. Many customers call dialup broadband when comparing it to the wireless and cable service they provide. Dialup may not be faster but it at least provides more stability. I think it’s something with MyEsuite Wireless’s equipment they set up for the wireless. The cable has less problems that they provide but there are still a handful of unhappy customers. The wireless is a complete disaster. Probably 95% of the wireless customers are unsatisfied. That leaves a small 5% of happy customers. The technical support is very good but the reps are not able to do much nor are they aware of what is going on as the main office’s communication is poor. I feel bad for the reps sometimes, they try to help but they too seem frustrated with the lack of communication between the “dispatch” and main office. Customers don’t want to always get credit for downtime, they more or less want to be able to use the internet.

There is a contract involved at the complexes that prevent other ISP’s from getting in. I don’t know the whole story but it exists.

The most problematic complex has to be the Hamptons. It seems like a small surge takes it out too easily. Stability needs to be put into this complex.

Stay clear from MyEsuite Wireless…..if you have a good experience with them–consider yourself one of the lucky customers.

Never says:

The FCC is currently ruling on access to apartments for cable companies.

Basically, the leasing office will no longer be allowed to say that only CableNet and My E-Suites are the only providers. They will HAVE to open the complexes up to other companies. It’s no wonder My E-Suites changed their number. They’re going to loose a LOT of money with this. Better start looking for a new gig Kushner.

Eric Goble (user link) says:

My Esuites

I recently sign up with my esuites. Big mistake. It’s really poor service. It’s basically for people who just want to browse(occasionally) and check a few emails. There service is certainly not for users who spend more than a few minutes on the internet.

I can’t stream video.
I can’t play any online games
I can’t download patches over 20-30 megs without getting timeouts.
If I have updates I have to let it update overnight because downloading a 100 meg file takes 5-6 hours or more and I have to download the patches via Bit torrent because of the time outs.
I can make it google and apparently this blog.

I tried calling tech support and they were going to send a guy but he never showed(that’s twice).

It’s not my pc, it’s not my router, it’s not my home network.

I tried sending some 1452 size non fragmented packets to flood the network and test the connection 10-12% packet loss. I sent 500 byte packets and it was the same.

If it isn’t from a teleco it’s usally not good.

ronald says:


comments are ,

I having same problems above My fiances and I just moved into apartment complex . we neve asked the questions of cable dsl we are now living in complex that has cable internet all the above ,,

the new apartment dosent have cable we have to use cable net its sems to be junking system .



ronald says:


comments are ,

I having same problems above My fiances and I just moved into apartment complex . we neve asked the questions of cable dsl we are now living in complex that has cable internet all the above ,,

the new apartment dosent have cable we have to use cable net its sems to be junking system .



P says:

Horrible Internet & Cable service...

I second that.. internet connection & Cable connection sucks big time. Sometime I work from home so its just not possible to do anything.. Internet & also cable is down for weeks.. no response from the My e suites company… they have a standard voice mail that they are working on the Internet connection.. I left several messages in the past few months and I am yet to get any response. The apmt guys throw their hands up when you approach them for the problem & give the My e suites number to contact.. plain simple horrible ! I am planning on lodging a formal complaint with the local authorities not only against the My e suites company for taking money monthly for the service( and not providing any) but also the apartment complex for not helping in this issue(the Internet & cable charge is paid the apartment complex). Cant stay here anymore.. will be out of this place in a month.. cant wait to get out.

Chk these –


Paula says:

Surprise surprise

Peter Kusner’s company not providing good service? I’m shocked! I say this as a former employee of his. The only thing worse than his company’s internet connectivity are his business ethics. Surely there’s a reason his company has moved at least 3 times since 2003–Mayfield Hts. to Beachwood to Solon, to all business transactions going to Toledo, to who knows what other locations…

Avoid like the plague. BTW Pete, if you see this, the best thing you ever did was lay me off. I’m in much better shape, financially, educationally, emotionally, and overall in life, since I left your piece of crap company.

Have a nice day. 🙂

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