The Comcast Bundle Shakedown
from the looks-like-a-monopoly,-smells-like-a-monopoly... dept
I know about five people who used AT&T Broadband (now Comcast) as their cable modem service without also getting cable TV. As of last week, they're all subscribed to cable TV as well, thanks to Comcast's latest extortionary move. People complained about their new billing plans when they were announced a couple of months ago, but now that they're going into effect, people are accusing Comcast of "shaking down" its customers. The way the deal works is, if you have a cable modem, but no cable TV, you suddenly have to pay an extra 33% on your cable modem bill. Suddenly, you have incentive to sign up for cable TV as well. Of course, if Comcast weren't a monopoly, this wouldn't be an issue - but for many people they simply have no choice. That explains why all of my friends suddenly are paying for cable TV that they'll rarely (if ever) watch. Update: On a related note, a number of consumer groups are now publicly claiming that Comcast is gouging.