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
    ex soviet, 25 Jul 2006 @ 10:05am

    respect

    WP,

    the debate about your ecomomic rights (broadband competition) and your political rights (republic versus direct democracy) are inseparable. The reason your economic rights are trampled on is because you have virtually no political rights. The reason you don't realise this, and the reason that so many others are convinced that representative democracy protects them from 'the rule of the mob', is that you in the US do not have a free press as you like to imagine (our European press is mostly in similar condition). The myth of the enlightened western democracy watched over by a free press is repeated so often that most have come to accept it as thruth without questioning.

    If you'd like to ask some questions as I am sure you would, because I think the majority of people in the world are not unlike me, then you could start with:

    Australian reporter/filmmaker/author John Pilger - for evidence of genocide and oppression by the US, the UK, Australia and others

    American political activist/writer Noam Chomsky for analysis of US foreign policy and its reporting in the 'free press'

    Edward Hermann/Noam Chomsky book Manufacturing Consent for explanation of the severe limitations of 'free press' in the US, directly applicable also to European press

    American author Gregory A. Fossedal - his book Direct Democracy in Switzerland. This is a glimpse of what it is like truly to have political rights. Read it and weep, so to speak.

    Google 'direct democracy' to find out what it actually means for you

    PS> I,41 - Let's hope you're right about Pious Murderer Blair. I am less optimistic than you, just look at Thatcher.

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