Isn't Competition Supposed To Lower Rates?

from the oh,-right... dept

If you haven't been following what's been going on in Lafayette Louisiana, they've been having quite a technology battle. The local telco and cable company (BellSouth and Cox) have been spending millions of dollars fighting a proposed muni-fiber offering that the residents of the city voted for. The people of the city voted for it, even after push polls (designed to influence the vote, not accurately predict it) and silly threats from the incumbents. Ever since it was approved, however, the incumbents have been able to hold up the deployment by fighting it in court. Cox and BellSouth, of course, claim that such a muni network would represent unfair competition -- something they should know an awful lot about, since Cox was recently accused of anti-competitive practices in blocking out competitors in certain new housing developments. Apparently, from their point of view, "unfair competition" is just about any competition. Competition, of course, might force them to do something like offer more competitive rates -- something studies have shown isn't really happening yet. With that in mind, is it really any surprise to hear that Cox is now raising their cable rates in the city, even as they try to convince the courts that the muni-fiber network would be bad for the people of the city?

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  1. identicon
    doubledoh, 14 Jul 2006 @ 12:00am

    Re: No matter what

    No matter what, the voting population should overrule any objection by companies or government. This isn't the old days where representatives were put in place to know all the information... now the people have all the information at their fingertips, so their votes (assumably) are educated votes, and therefore should correctly direct a 'majority rules' government to the peoples decision.
    I disagree. The US is a Republic, not a strict democracy...and for good reason: The majority of people are often wrong. That's why we came up with the bill of rights which gaurantees freedoms even if they condone unpopular behaviors and ideas. I don't think any majority should be able to tell me what to do without my consent, even if I'm the minority...otherwise that's slavery and coercion. A group of people certainly should be able to gather together and pay for a fiber line to their community, but they shouldn't force people that don't want it to pay for it (ie, other coerced taxpayers).

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