Friday, June 22, 2012

Things to Come

When I googled the term corporate stranglehold for a graphic this is the photo that came up. It was on target. Comcast, with the assistance of government, has become what all corporate CEOs wish for their companies.  They are untouchable in their domains.  The cable giant, which has a monopoly in Albuquerque, has just announced another whopper of a rate increase for TV, Internet and Phone.  The city of Albuquerque which grants its franchise has said absolutely nothing.  That is because Comcast lets the local elected officials get free air time on cable channels pushing their favorite charities and p.r. messages.  In return the officials, all of them, turn their head on asking questions about these exhorbinant rates.

Other cities have competition.  My son in upstate New York has a choice of three providers.  All cheaper than here because of the competition. And that includes fiber optics to the home.

 I will admit we have a choice in whether or not to  use  these providers.  At the very least the government needs to regulate the cost of internet  service.  That is now a necessity for citizens.  Will anyone say something down at city hall?

My latest challenge with Comcast comes with a defective receiver box.  I called their admittedly decent customer service and they said they would send a new one.  They charged me $15 to replace their defective equipment.  Kind of like the airlines charging for your baggage.  And then they sent me a new internet modem for no reason.


Rodney said...

A "choice" of either having service or not having service isn't a choice. True choice is between provider A, B or C...just as your son enjoys. But really, what I wanted to say is, I'll give you $40 for one of your modems ;)

Bubba Muntzer said...

It' very interesting that you pay more in New Mexico for something you buy from a business than in New York -- two states where conventional wisdom about the cost of doing business would make one think it would be the opposite.

When my ex and I graduated from college in Michigan (in that general rust belt region that includes upstate New York) and moved to South Carolina for our jobs we were surprised to find consumer items, things we needed to buy every day, like milk, were more expensive. Our car insurance rates, which needed legislative approval to go up, went up every year.

I think you put your finger on the problem, although you and I may differ on the precise nature of what that problem is and what to do about it.

There are some similarities, though, between South Carolina (and the South in general) and New Mexico. Both are historically low wage, right to work states where many people who can afford it opt out of public schools, to the detriment of public schools. Many of the best and brightest young people leave, seeking better opportunity. Both economies evolved from plantation economies.