This Week in Comcast: Can municipal broadband save customers money? [telecom]

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This Week in Comcast: Can municipal broadband save customers money?

As the digital media world continues to evolve, there's no question
Comcast considers its broadband services to make up the core of its
connectivity business, with CEO Brian Roberts saying in October it's
"increasingly the epicenter of our relationship with
customers, and ultimately where we derive the majority of our
profitability."

It makes sense then, that the company would throw its support behind
organizations fighting to block municipalities' efforts to create
their own public broadband systems and argue that the infrastructure
costs are too much of a burden for taxpayers to bear.

https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/news/2018/01/16/comcast-cmcsa-munici
pal-broadband-cheaper-isp.html

Re: This Week in Comcast: Can municipal broadband save customers money? [telecom]
On Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 11:45:06 AM UTC-5, Monty Solomon wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Municipal ownership of utilities has been around for ages.  It has
been a mixed blessing.

For instance, the City of Philadelphia has owned the Gas Works for
many years.  Until the 1970s, day-to-day operation was contracted
out to the United Gas Improvement Co. (UGI) who did an excellent
job.  But then, for purely idiotic political reasons, the mayor  
had the city take it over.  PGW's service quality and efficient
got terrible.

This leads to point #1--sometimes politics gets in the way of
efficient operation of a publicly owned utility.  (Politics can
and do screw up private utilities, too, but not as much.)


The article mentions a key point--Comcast rates are very difficult
to figure out due to 'teaser' intro rates.  But overall, I'd say
Comcast rates are too high given they have increases every year
that are higher than inflation, and, they are very flush with  
cash.  Point #2--sometimes a private utility will exploit its
monopoly power and charge too much.

Note that Comcast owns NBC/Universal.  In the old days, the courts
ruled that exhibitors and producers had to be separate companies.
NBC and Universal are each big and profitable enough to stand on
their own individually, there is no need for Comcast to own them
as well.

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