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.
Apple customers are some of the most fanatically loyal tech fans on the planet. Comcast customers, not so much. For this reason, the two companies might seem like unlikely partners when it comes to possibly signing a deal to bring live Comcast cable TV programming to Apple’s Apple TV set-top box. AppleInsider draws our attention to a new note from Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar, who says he can’t possibly see Comcast agreeing to a deal that would undermine its power as a content gatekeeper, even if it would make for a better overall experience.
Apple is reportedly in complex talks with Comcast about launching a joint product, a new Apple TV set-top box that would not only offer users access to on-demand movies, TV programs and other apps including games, but also live Comcast cable programming, reports from The Wall Street Journal and The Information reveal. More →
Talk about nice work if you can get it! Bloomberg reports that Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus will receive a compensation package worth $80 million if Comcast successfully buys his company, despite the fact that he’s only held his position for just under two months. Bloomberg says that “the golden-parachute payout includes $56.5 million in restricted stock units and unvested options and $20.5 million in cash” along with a $2.5 million performance bonus and other goodies. More →
No one can exactly accuse the editors of The Economist of being wild-eyed populists or enemies of capitalism, which is why it’s noteworthy that the magazine has taken a pretty strong stance against the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In a leading editorial arguing against the merger, The Economist says that combining the two companies would create “a Goliath far more fearsome than the latest ride at the Universal Studios theme park” that would have entirely too much control over broadband infrastructure in the United States. More →
For the past few months we’ve written a lot about two controversial potential mergers that have shaken the American Internet service and telecom landscape: A proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable and a not-yet-formally-proposed merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. What has become fascinating to watch about each merger is the way that both Sprint and Comcast have gone about trying to convince the general public that it should support letting them become bigger and more powerful by acquiring smaller players. More →
Lots of people hate the idea of letting Comcast and Time Warner Cable merge but don’t expect our esteemed elected officials to care. Politico documents how Comcast really does have all its bases covered in the Capitol when it comes to making campaign contributions to influential members of Congress. In fact, Politico’s examination of public records reveals that Comcast has donated money to “almost every member of Congress who has a hand in regulating it,” including “all but three members of the Senate Judiciary Committee” and “32 of the 39 members of the House Judiciary Committee.” In all, Politico says Comcast has already spent $2 million for this year’s campaign cycle after spending roughly $3.5 million in 2011 and 2012.