Let’s (Not!) Play Comcast Monopoly
ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION TV CONSUMERS? If you are, then you have GOT TO SEE the anti-competitive, monopolistic, anti-internet moves that Comcast is making. If you’re not, OPEN YOUR EYES AND START SCREAMING at your Congresspeople and Comcast themselves.
I didn’t fly off the handle and get really steamed today just because…it was this tweet from the guy that invented the World Wide Web, Tim Berners Lee, and it was a link to this page at Marketwatch. Seems that Level 3 Communications, one of the biggest backbone providers on earth, today released a statement about a MAJOR move by Comcast to put a big ‘ole “Collect $200” every time an internet TV company passes “Go!”:
On November 19, 2010, Comcast informed Level 3 that, for the first time, it will demand a recurring fee from Level 3 to transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast’s customers who request such content. By taking this action, Comcast is effectively putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network, enabling it to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content which competes with its own cable TV and Xfinity delivered content. This action by Comcast threatens the open Internet and is a clear abuse of the dominant control that Comcast exerts in broadband access markets as the nation’s largest cable provider.
Are you serious Comcast? I truly hope that all the big kids with really deep pockets line up against you with their Howitzers. Maybe you’re itchin’ for a fight and methinks you’re gonna get one. Since you’ve got such little value-add or customer loyalty (I’d switch in a nanosecond if Qwest would get their sh*t together and drop fiber to my house which is only 1,000 feet away now) that I’d bet most people could care less if you tanked.
I’ve been writing about Comcast’s monopoly moves for a loooong time here and another site I run called Minnov8. See this, this, this, this, this and this for more if you’re interested (and yes, there are even more posts).
Somehow this company thinks that THEY OWN the internet connection in to your (and my) house. That they get to control what comes over that pipe and that they should be able to charge Hulu, Apple, Google, Boxee, Revision3 or anyone who wants to deliver video content that somehow competes with what they offer.
I don’t care how much Comcast whines about the volume of streaming video bits that people are supposedly downloading. EVERYTHING COMCAST IS DOING IS ALL ABOUT PROTECTING THEIR MORE THAN $2B IN REVENUES FROM CABLE TV and not what they claim all the time: “Oh…it’s all about network management.” Again I call “bullshit” since Comcast is building out HUGE STORAGE CENTERS in Colorado, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Philadelphia so they clearly don’t want any of these other providers to get a foothold before they bring these centers fully online.
If anyone (especially someone representing Comcast in any way) tells you that this isn’t all about Comcast-protecting-Comcast they’re full of sh*t. Also, please oh please don’t comment with one of those, “But it’s good for the consumer” lines of crap. It’s not. It’s all about competition and let’s see if our paid-for new Congresspeople let the free market rein or if they protect their pals at Comcast.
You know what Comcast? I’ll bring over whatever bits I want to and I’ll pay you for your dumb pipe. That said, I really don’t want your crappy cable TV, your weak xFinity service or your on-demand that takes minutes to come up while your worthless and noisy previews run in the background. Your Scientific Atlanta DVR boxes are a joke and are worse than TiVO was 10 YEARS AGO; your on-demand pales in comparison to Netflix, AppleTV, GoogleTV, Boxee, PlexApp, Hulu…shall I go on?; and I’m sick of paying for TV that I don’t watch but have no choice in taking so you can promise households to ESPN and others.
Wow…I had no idea I was so pissed off at Comcast but there it is. What are YOU going to do or say or are you just going to lie there eating chips figuring someone else will figure it out?