I agree with Senator Franken...on this issue

Discussion in 'Politics' started by preachinjesus, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/203431-franken-blasts-comcast-merger

    Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) has been the near lone dissenter to the proposed Comcast - Time Warner merger. He stands alone, but in my view, stands on the proper side of this issue.

    Note his comment from the above article: "This is the No. 1 cable TV company buying the No. 2. And this is the No. 1 Internet broadband company buying the No. 3."

    Right now in America, we're seeing the fusing of banks, financial institutions, media conglomerates, airlines, and other significant industries that deprives consumers of effective competition and the resulting benefits therein.

    There isn't much to agree with Senator Franken about in other areas of policy, but on this we definitely agree.

    So, what say you?
     
  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Who cares? In four more months, Google Fiber will be in my neighborhood.

    Seriously, I can't get excited about these companies merging. Cable-delivered television programming, Internet, telephone, etc., is all going to be overwhelmed by wireless in the next ten years -- and only the true fiberoptic networks will be able to compete. Comcast, TWC, even DishTV and DirecTV, are not prepared to compete with wireless service delivery of these venues. Let 'em merge. They'll be out of business in a decade.
     
    #2 thisnumbersdisconnected, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2014
  3. poncho

    poncho
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    19,657
    Likes Received:
    128
    By then they'll be in the "to big to fail" category and we'll have to pony up hundreds of billions to bail em out. "Or the world as we know it will end!"
     
  4. plain_n_simple

    plain_n_simple
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,887
    Likes Received:
    5
    How true how true.
     
  5. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,214
    Likes Received:
    611
    It sounds like an important issue, but an analysis will show it's a paper tiger.

    In almost all cases municipalities award territorial rights to one and only one cable provider, simply because there is only one set of cables currently strung within the territory. Show me an area anywhere in the US where Comcast and Time Warner are competing for each other's business, where a customer can choose one or the other's service for their home.
     
  6. poncho

    poncho
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    19,657
    Likes Received:
    128
    I still see "the fusing of banks, financial institutions, media conglomerates, airlines, and other significant industries" as a problem even if there is only one set of cables strung out there.
     
    #6 poncho, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2014
  7. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,214
    Likes Received:
    611
    Yeah, we are. But it makes no difference to the cable TV industry because they don't directly compete for customer's dollars. Every 3-5 years when the provider's contract comes up with the municipality there might be competition between Comcast and Time Warner to secure the rights to be the provider. In contrast, Dish TV and Direct TV compete with each other every day.
     
  8. poncho

    poncho
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    19,657
    Likes Received:
    128
    Chocolate or vanilla which do you prefer?
     
  9. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,214
    Likes Received:
    611
    Practically speaking, that's how thin your choices are. If you compare regular rates, not promotional rates, for Direct TV, Time Warner, Comcast, or Dish TV, the monthly charges are usually within a couple percent of each other.

    I had a CenturyLink rep knock on my door last week touting their new transmission lines they had run in the area for internet access. I'd had bad luck with CenturyLink in the past and had no intention of switching or even allowing the guy to go into his spiel. So I stopped him cold and asked him about their fastest data download speeds. It was 40 MB/sec. and it cost more than I'm paying Comcast for 60 MB/sec speeds. Good-bye CenturyLink rep.
     
  10. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    These are certainly fair points.

    However, there is a larger picture to consider beyond the dramatically expanded territory. It begins with Comcast now servicing 70% of Americans with no real competition from an equal competitor within the national dealings. This means, ultimately, higher rates and less ability for groups such as Google fiber, ATT Uverse, and others to break into a market.

    Likewise, Comcast will have a more significant lobbying base by which to accomplish their goals as a company. This includes edging out upstart providers where there is overlapping competition.

    I'm a big fan of cable deregulation in both market competition and the packaging of channels together. We should absolutely have free choice for our provider and an al a carte menu of cable options to build our plans around. (I'm pretty sure Senator Franken would be opposed to this...but I might be wrong.)

    If deregulation were to happen, there would be limited ability to aid competition across these markets if this merger were to take place. Of course, given our current situation this isn't an entirely fair criticism against the present merger.

    Larger companies are harder to monitor and provide effective oversight for and this can lead to some difficult situations. For those of us in favor of net neutrality, the Comcast-Time Warner merger would be a huge blow against those aims. It is clear that there are parties high up on both sides that have an anti-neutrality position and will be able to run their opinion pretty openly.

    Just some thoughts. I think you've made the fair rebuttal. Interested to see what others think. :)
     
  11. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    God forbid that Comcrap, I mean Comcast, gets more share of the market. Have you ever had a dispute with them? I have and I spent hours, literally hours, on the phone before it was cleared up. Their's is a customer service nightmare that leaves the customer helpless and frustrated. I'd just assume do without cable or internet than to have to deal with Comcast again.
     
  12. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Well, this is the number two reason we dumped cable. All we have now is broadband with another provider. (The primary reason was cost...tired of blowing all that money per month on junk.)

    After six years of no cable, I'll never go back. :)
     
  13. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,214
    Likes Received:
    611
    Google Fiber, ATT Uverse, etc. are going to have to run their own data lines wherever they choose to market themselves. The ability for them to break into a market is ultimately up to the local governments granting them access to burying data lines.

    Yes, I can see where this would be a problem.

    Not sure where Franken stands on ala carte pricing. I know John McCain is in favor of it. I'm all for it, as well.

    Yes, when you mention net-neutrality that puts me over the edge and into Franken's camp on this issue. I know Sen. Franken is in favor of net neutrality. [This is likely the ONLY time I will agree with Franken on ANYTHING]
     

Share This Page

Loading...