Thursday, December 02, 2004

Give 'em an Inch

Annie Collins of the down but not out crew of Fiber For Our Future in Illinois' Tri-Cities sends us the following link: Comcast boosting local cable rates again

Less than a month after defeating a citizen initiative in the suburbs of Chicago Comcast has returned their customer's trust by raising their rates again—by 6%. This repeats the pattern Comcast established after the first Tri-Cities initiative failed when they raised their rates after beating back challenges to their monopoly through a misinformation campaign. (See the 2003 edition: Comcast Draws Fire for Changes)

Now it could be said by apologists for these entertainment conglomerates that they have raised rates across the country. Not entirely true...where there is competition, for instance in Braintree, Mass. where the state is set to investigate charges of predatory pricing, Comcast has not only not raised its rates....it has engaged in a door-to-door campaign of offering cheap, much cheaper than in the surrounding areas, 18 month "specials" to win back subscribers to the new municipal utility.

This, I think is Annie's point, and a point we and the folks in Braintree might well take seriously: Don't expect any gratitude for doing as the cabelcos desire.

Competition is the only thing that will restrain the rapidly rising cost of cable as a comparison of the cases of the Tri-Cities and Braintree demonstrate.

Support your local utility.

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