There are few companies in the United States who are more universally despised than cable and internet providers, and Comcast is demonstrating exactly why in Colorado.
For decades, Americans have suffered through price gouges, monopolization of locales, and absurd corporate mergers that have provided companies such as Comcast and AT&T with inordinate amounts of power. While television viewership has decreased exponentially in the era of the internet, the mere fact that massive corporations have a stranglehold on both services simultaneously has allowed for these megaliths of the media landscape to continuously transform their offerings in order to extract as much of your hard earned cash as possible.
To make matters worse, every one of us have a personal experience or a close friend or relative who have attempted to cancel these ridiculous services only to spend 40 minutes on the phone in a well-choreographed word dance that almost always behooves these enormously wealthy companies.
(Pro tip: Next time you attempt to cancel your cable bill, just tell the customer service representative that you’re moving to Bolivia…shuts them up every time).
Now, as Comcast continues to feel the pressure of a populace who just plain hates them, they are turning to extremely aggressive and borderline immoral tactics in order to maintain their exorbitant bottom line.
In Colorado, a law called SB152 does not allow for cities to create their own ISP, (internet service providers), protecting Comcast and others from being competed against. Fort Collins is looking to change that.
“Fort Collins is the latest city to this week vote on opting out of SB 152. To be clear: opting out of the law’s restrictions only opens the door to the possibility of building a network or striking public/private partnerships. But the incumbent ISPs like Comcast that bought the law have spent more than $200,000 to prevent that conversation from even happening:
“‘Politics is an expensive game, but when an oligopoly is at stake, there’s no price tag too high for Big Telecom. In Fort Collins, Colorado—a town of about 150,000 north of Denver—Big Telecom has contributed more than $200,000 to a campaign opposing a ballot measure to simply consider a city-run broadband network. It’s the latest example of how far Big Telecom is willing to go to prevent communities from building their own internet and competing with the status quo.’
“‘It’s been wild,’ said Glen Akins, a Fort Collins advocate for municipal broadband. ‘We’re overwhelmed by the amount of money the opposition is spending.'”
“That spending, which is breaking local records, has included TV spots — funded by an ISP policy front group — that make numerous, misleading arguments about what locals are actually voting on. The ads try to conflate being allowed to have a conversation about the idea with actually moving forward with a plan. The ads also falsely claim that if the city of 150,000 moves forward with such a project, road repair, affordable housing, and other priorities in the city would suffer (also not true since the project would be funded by service revenues and utility bonds that couldn’t be used for these other services)…”
In other words, Comcast is so wealthy off of the money that you pay them in order to watch Real Housewives of Wherever that they can drop $200,000 to prevent a municipality from providing a service to their citizens.
Think about that next time to send these cable companies $15o per month to pump CNN and ESPN into your home.