Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Comcast Compared to Gilded Age Monopoly

Here’s a good summer read:  “Captive Audience:  The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age,” by Harvard University professor Susan Crawford.
This is about Comcast which has such a commanding presence in high speed internet, cable TV and now movies and TV shows with the NBC Universal merger.  Is this something I should worry about given that I severed ties with Comcast three years ago?  Probably not.
What I did learn is that customers who need something approaching high speed internet are captives of Comcast and the rest of us are settling for considerably less.  According to Prof. Crawford, customers are leaving DSL in favor of Comcast internet and WIFI is not the answer.  So whatever the unfortunate telco is charging for DSL is too much.  We should be able to negotiate lower DSL fees given their anemic presence in the high speed internet world.
Instant Netflix with its recent Emmy nominations may be a threat to Comcast, we can all hope.  With Comcast, a commanding presence in cable TV, now running NBC TV I would imagine that NBC affiliates are nervous about the future of this legacy news and entertainment enterprise.  As a former NBC employee of the RCA era, I too am concerned but not enough to watch most of the NBC shows.  -- dz


Mike Barer said...

Good insite, it's just "amazing" that telephone companies are thriving after drastically lowering long distance fees, after the ATT monopoly was broken up.

Mike Barer said...

Perhaps they should enforce that on other utilities.