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.