Listen weekdays from 1-3pm ET
(No audio? Try our help)
Recent shows | More media

Clark is on now: Listen Live

Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

Comcast stifles competition again

  • comment(13)



By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


I've been spitting fire in media interviews about Comcast getting married with Time Warner.

We already have inferior Internet versus other countries and we pay more for a degraded surfing experience. This stuff impacts our competitiveness in the world as a country.

What we need is more competition.

And now we have word that Netflix is having to pay Comcast what amounts to a bribe to speed up online streaming to its customers.

What's the big deal?

If you don't watch Netflix and don't care, here's the problem: If a business wants access to your eyeballs and we allow monopolies to set up these toll gates, think about the power you're now giving to these private organizations over the flow of info in our country.

What if it starts involving info, not just TV programming? Maybe you want to read a newspaper online or a particular political website and you can't get to it. Then we're all in trouble.

Competition is what will bust up this terrible decision that Congress made years ago to establish a shared Internet monopoly among the monopoly phone and cable companies.

And now Comcast's latest move to marry Time Warner will further hurt competition in America and hurt our position within the world. These 2 companies have terrible customer service reputations, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

It all comes back to competition. We need more of it, not less of it.

A look at Google Fiber

Speaking of more competition, Google is getting ready to ramp up its Google Fiber experiments, which deliver high-speed Internet in Kansas City and elsewhere at speeds 100 times faster than monopolies and at a better price. Now they want to bring high speed Internet with TV and telephone to a bunch of the biggest U.S. cities.

In many cities, Google Fiber will provide free lifeline Internet, which offers the slow speed of about what you have now from the monopoly phone and cable companies.

When you think about it, Google has a vested interest to protect in all this. As the monopolies meter and throttle Internet use, that could take a bite out of Google's content and ad driven business model.

If you live in one of the potential Google Fiber cities, I read the following tidbit on Reddit: "Check your address and offer up your email address for updates on service availability in our area. They use these to gauge interest and if enough people in [your city] do so we will be the next city for the Google Fiber rollout." Click here to get started.

For further reading:

  • comment(13)