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
    I, for one, 14 Jul 2006 @ 5:56am

    Okay - some home truths.

    "I disagree with the supposition that people are intelligent - most people are not, or rather, they are ignorant and choose to be. Please - if a soundbite can influence the vote, we aren't talking about the best and brightest."

    You're talking about your own damn brothers and sisters!
    Ever heard the phrase "divide and conquer"?

    I mean - let me put it bluntly (and you may not like this, so if you're oversensitive please avert your eyes now)

    America is not very popular right now. America is hated by many people of many nations. Those of us who love America and the values of which you speak are having a hard time defending you. For most of my life democracy and freedom have been synonymous with America. As an Englishman I grew up on a diet of those very same values though television. But it's no longer the case that America is loved, looked up to, or even respected. In fact America is increasingly seen as an example of a failed state, a failed democracy in the same way that Russia (USSR) is seen as failed communism. More and more it seems like you both lost the cold war, both your ideologies are bankrupt. All this talk of republics and checks and balances is air, nothing but puff. You're just romanticising the way things were. They're not anymore.

    What has happened in the USA is a tragedy. Many are still shocked by the rapidity with which the decline has occured. Nobody ever thought they would hear representatives of the US government talk of condoning torture, imprisonment without trial, murder of civilian populations and assasinations of world leaders. Yet here we are in 2006 and all those things have come to pass. Your government has blood all over its hands and a guilty look all over its face. Here we are arguing the finer academic points of democratic theory and the reality is that the last two elections in the USA were frauds and your government is dragging your name through the mud in every nation on Earth. You've already lost the "war on everything" - just look at the state of your freedoms and your economy now!

    Who are we (the rest of the world) to blame? Mature people don't despise the folk of another country because their government or army are monsters. Aren't your government your responsibility? Don't you have the power to control them? You need someone to do it for you?

    In 1945 you did us a favour, and all of Europe is very grateful for that. But I don't think Europe has the military power or political will to come and liberate you guys. You're going to have to do it yourselves from the inside.

    I think that starts with

    • 1) Taking a fucking serious interest in your electoral process.

    • 2) Deciding you aren't going to be bullied, abused and lied to anymore. Stop it with the apathy and capitulation, you can do something positive.

    • 3) Start respecting your fellow countrymen, stop your racism, stop calling each other stupid and face your common enemy together.

    And before anyone yells Pot! Kettle! Yes I know. But there's a difference. Blair is finished over here. And when he's done we're going to put him on trial for war crimes (after a respectful interlude). Just you watch and see. I hope I get to see it on TV when Bush and Blair are standing there together and they kick away the stools. Both are treasonous bastards who've let down their people.

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