Friday, October 15, 2004

Higher Internet prices, fewer choices under FCC broadband decision

Consumers Union has issued a blistering indictment of the recent FCC regulations change that further accelerated the recent trend toward closing the Bell networks to competition saying:
The FCC today took our country one giant step closer toward solidifying a two-company domination – the local cable and telephone providers -- over the consumer Internet market

The policy of promoting high-cost broadband access dominated by cable and telephone companies who are allowed to discriminate against competitors and overcharge consumers is not working...The evidence that this approach has failed is overwhelmingly clear
• In the three and a half years that Michael Powell has been Chairman of the Commission, the U.S. had fallen from third to eleventh in broadband adoption.

• The cause of the failure of high speed adoption is clear, Americans are being overcharged by the cozy duopoly of cable and telephone companies. Cross national comparisons of price show that Americans pay fifteen to ten times as much, on a megabit basis, as consumers in Japan pay. Three years ago the price in America was three or four times as high.

The current fracas here in Lafayette makes it easy to see what Consumers Union is talking about: when it comes down to it Cox and BellSouth are quick to ally up to prevent real competition from entering the fray. And real competition is defined as anything that would really drive down the price of telecom services.

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