Why Competition Is Important In Broadband

from the without-competition,-the-customer-gets-screwed dept

The issue concerning the lack of competition in the broadband space has come up a few times in the past, usually around the topic of net neutrality. However, it impacts plenty of other things as well. Infoworld is running an article about how much trouble Cox Cable is causing former customers of the local CableAmerica provider they recently bought. As the article notes, the customers of CableAmerica chose it over Cox (the two directly competed in CableAmerica’s Phoenix market) because they felt that CableAmerica gave them a better deal. However, as Cox took over, the customers lost that choice, and with it the ability to do much when Cox changed its policies and made life difficult for CableAmerica subscribers. This included giving them very short notice that their CableAmerica email addresses would no longer work and wouldn’t forward to new accounts (an issue that came up in the past with other cable mergers — where Comcast eventually realized that it needed to give its customers over a year to move their email). They also had problems working with CableAmerica modems, and wanted to charge customers to upgrade. On top of that, they cut the number of TV channels, raised the bill and changed the agreement on how they serviced the account. Of course, without much competition, there really isn’t much that these customers can do.


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Comments on “Why Competition Is Important In Broadband”

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7 Comments
LShaw says:

The otherside

It does take a large scale company to lay those networks down. If there was as much competition in high speed internet providers as say the fast-food restaurant business there would not be a large enough incentive for businesses to invest into these networks and they would not get started unless the government provided it and we all know how well the government runs.
I think they need to be regulated more effectively. I have time warner and I pay around 150 a month for my cable/internet. I think that is high and would love to lower the price. I also believe a business should be able to make a profit and that it is not a bad thing for business to make a profit, but that is just my thought.

Amy Alkon (user link) says:

Broadband In Socialist France

I’m in Paris right now, where cable Internet is much cheaper than in the States, and, in fact, there’s Ozone Paris — pervasive Internet. For 18 eu a month (about 20 bucks) you can have the Internet without a home provider. I don’t have it, but friends do, and say it’s pretty good. Many areas of Paris have it — more to come. And, PS, I’ve been on the Internet since the early 90s, and as for all the friends of mine who’ve made fun of me for being on AOL for all these years, I’ve had my same email address for over 15 years.

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