Senator Al Franken (D, Minn.) has been one of the most vocal critics of the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable and now he’s trying to bring in the big guns to help him kill it once and for all. Franken on Wednesday sent a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings asking him or his company to publicly weigh in on a merger that Franken says will hurt competition for online video services going forward. More →
As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to be wary of the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, GigaOM gives us a new one: Data caps. GigaOM points out that Time Warner Cable and Cablevision are the only two major cable companies in the United States that haven’t yet imposed data caps on their customers but that could change if TWC gets gobbled up by Comcast as part of a $45 billion acquisition. More →
Surprise! Paying off Comcast does have its benefits. Less than two months after coming to a peering arrangement with Comcast where it agreed to make regular payments to the cable giant to ensure high-quality streaming for its customers, Netflix reported that average streaming speeds have surged by 65% on Comcast’s network. In fact, the increase in streaming speeds was so large that Comcast jumped ahead a full six spots in Netflix’s rankings of Internet service providers and now is the fifth-fastest ISP for Netflix streaming in the United States with an average speed of 2.5Mbps. More →
Comcast thinks very, very poorly of our intelligence. That’s the only conclusion I can come to after reading up on the company’s testimony in the Senate on Wednesday in which it hilariously tried to convince us that it’s really a tiny little underdog in the content distribution world that needs to merge with Time Warner Cable so it can stand up to the big bullies at Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. To illustrate this point, as LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik points out, the company passed around a ridiculous chart showing how small its market cap is compared to its “competitors.”
During a Senate hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger Wednesday, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen finally addressed what multiple customer satisfaction surveys have said over and over and over and over and over again: Comcast and Time Warner Cable both have terrible customer service. The Washington Post reports that Cohen said Wednesday that “it bothers us we have so much trouble delivering high quality of service to customers on a regular basis” and that “sometimes, we need a kick in the butt.”
The proposed $45 billion merger between pay TV and Internet service giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable has been met with staunch opposition from consumers, rivals and several watchdog groups. On Wednesday, Comcast will make its case to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in an effort to convince regulators and the general public that the merger benefits not just the companies involved and their shareholders, but also American consumers. More →
Talk about incredible timing! On the same day that Comcast and Time Warner Cable are filing their merger proposal paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission, Consumerist has announced that Comcast has won its annual poll for the “Worst Company in America.” More →
According to data from the Federal Communications Commission, about one-third of households in the United States have no choice when it comes to home broadband service. In other words, if they want reasonably fast home Internet service and they live in an area with access to wireline broadband, there is only one company they can pay. Another 37% of American households have a choice between just two Internet service providers for home broadband, which is defined by the FCC as Internet service with download speeds of just 4Mbps or more.
Why is the current state of home Internet service such a mess for consumers? One of the biggest reasons is so obvious that you might not have even considered it. More →
What began as a curious and expensive Google experiment is fast becoming a much-needed catalyst for change in an industry that has long been considered among the most anti-consumer businesses in America. Often characterized by poor customer service and regional monopolies, pay TV and Internet service providers have continuously raised service prices while also helping to ensure that broadband and TV competition is kept at a minimum. But despite the current state of the industry and its long history, Google Fiber is quickly becoming a disruption that can’t be ignored. More →
While there are certainly many reasons to gripe about Comcast, being forced to rent its modems shouldn’t be one of them. As Ars Technica, Stop the Cap! and other websites reported on Wednesday, a Comcast customer in Virginia caused a bit of a stir when he posted in the DSLReports forum that a Comcast customer service representative told him he’d have to rent one of Comcast’s modems for $8 a month if he wanted to take advantage of Comcast’s 105Mbps broadband service. As evidence for his claim, the user posted a Comcast bulletin supposedly issued on February 26th this year that said subscribers to its 105Mbps service may only use “Comcast issued equipment” because it “ensures that the specifications are always met and are not altered intentionally or unintentionally.”
Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes and rock-bottom customer satisfaction ratings for America’s two largest cable companies. Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, is touting a new survey from the Consumer Reports National Research Center showing that Comcast and Time Warner Cable are two of the three least liked pay TV providers in the United States.