“If there’s one thing that brings Americans together, it’s our hatred of the giant companies that sell us high-speed data services. Consumers routinely give Comcast, Charter (now Spectrum), Verizon, CenturyLink and AT&T basement-level scores for customer satisfaction. This collective resentment is fueled by the sense that we don’t have a choice when we sign up for their services.
By and large, we don’t: These five companies account for over 80 percent of wired subscriptions and have almost total power in their territories. According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly 75 percent of Americans have at most one choice for high-speed data.
It’s about to get worse: President Trump’s F.C.C., under the leadership of its fiercely deregulatory chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to let these companies become even more powerful by letting them do whatever they want and allowing them to merge with one another.”
Hear Hear. Great piece by Susan Crawford.
Here is a comment I recommend:
Mark Thomason is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 6 hours ago
“My particular market has more choice. In the last few years, I’ve changed service to Wow, Comcast, and then ATT. Each time I changed because of arrogant abuse of customers that made it worth the considerable trouble.
I’m lucky to have these choices. They work for me. I’ve cut my bill by a third each time. It should be better, but I’ve got it a lot better than most.
From this I conclude that competition is key. We need more entrants to the market. We can have them, because as it happens I do, and it works fine.
Of course companies want monopolies. Of course they say they need them. Of course they say monopolies are inevitable. Of course those are lies.
The good news is that competition can be encouraged locally, not just top down from Washington. Cities can provide community WiFi service. Some have. Local companies can be set up. Public Utility Commissions are local, and they can have hearings and make rules.
If more people want better service, it can be done, and we don’t have to wait for Paul Ryan or Donald Trump to do it. That is an excuse. Go talk to your Mayor or City Manager. Button hole your County leaders at the Fourth of July parade. If you don’t know the problem, stop in to talk to the City Attorney at her office — she’ll welcome the billing opportunity and explain a lot.
You don’t have to sit there and just take it.”