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Comments about ‘Comcast monopoly settles, door opens for Google Fiber’

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Published: Saturday, Feb. 22 2014 11:16 p.m. MST

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The Rock
Federal Way, WA

The FCC sued Microsoft for "anti-competitive" behavior. Their suit was built on a very flimsy foundation and the suit was eventually dropped.

Internet providers such as Comcast, that also provide cable TV and telephone services, are engaging in massive anti-competitive behavior. Most channels are prohibited from streaming their content on the web. I am a streamer. I am only interested in having a hand full of channels. I can get most of what I want by streaming on the Internet. If I could get ESPN and Fox News by streaming, I would have no incentive to ever get cable. As it is, I have to get a very expensive premium package to get the six channels I want.

Without net neutrality, the big ISPs can also destroy the streaming experience, forcing people to choose between cable or no TV at all.

Break the Monopoly:

1. require that all communities allow at least three cable companies to operate city wide.
2. Regulate cable companies like other natural monopolies (electric and natural gas companies).
3. Prohibit the anti-competitive behavior of many cable providers.

jpjazz
Sandy, UT

It is indeed good news to see Google's interest in the Salt Lake Market. Lets' hope it can extend into the neighboring cities, Mayor Dolan listen up!

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Remember, businesses in an of themselves are not capitalism. They are monopolistic which is not capitalism. The government break-up of monopolies and creating a fair playing field for businesses to compete is the epitome of capitalism. Good governance and regulation is sorely needed to protect what little capitalism we have left.

aceroinox
Farmington, UT

This is laughable! Mr. Forrest is more worried about Comcast than he is Google, which already knows immensely more about us than the NSA. This is the company with the corporate motto "Don't be evil", but which tracks our every move via the GPS on our cell phones (where did you think the Traffic feature on Google Maps came from?), that ran camera vehicles down our streets ostensibly to capture images for StreetView but in the process captured data from all the unsecured home networks (first denied, then "accidentally," then "didn't retain", then "intentional and we kept the data"), which scans every incoming and outgoing gMail message for salient information, and now knows what we purchase via Google Wallet.

When queried by the press about the depth and breadth of information databased on each individual, Eric Scmidt, then Google CEO, now executive chairman, quipped, "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." So much for privacy rights....

I'm not saying the Comcast/Time Warner merger is a good idea, just interesting to hold up Google as the saving white knight riding in.

aceroinox
Farmington, UT

@The Rock--

Your recommendations #2 and @3 are excellent suggestions. #1 presents a difficult challenge. Electric, phone and gas utilities have a monopoly because it makes no sense to have multiple networks of gas lines and power lines, first because it's difficult to justify the investment with only partial participation, and second, our streets would be continually torn up by new entrants in the market duplicating the network. Cable is a similar scenario, which is why most municipalities select a single cable company to provide service to the community. If three cable companies had to each duplicate the cable plant investment our prices would go up to cover those costs.

An alternative is for the city to make the cable plant investment and allow Internet and media providers to "lease" access in order to serve any home which desires their service. Utopia and iProvo were attempts at this model...so far not too promising.

Unfortunately, some city governments don't do a thorough job of regulating cable companies and holding their feet to the fire. In my opinion, a cable franchise agreement should require cable to every home, which the Farmington city fathers, for example, have failed to exact from Comcast.

Kralon
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA

Competition clearly has positive price effects for consumers. I have a friend in Provo who has seen his Comcast bill change from $145 a month to $105, putting it below Google Fiber's comparative $120 (TV & Internet). This all happened after Google Fiber started hooking up people in Provo.

Regardless he will move to Google Fiber because he wants the extra Internet speed even though Google's TV offering is weak.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with the assessment of "aceroinox" regarding Google as an increasing threat as not only a monopoly but a very intrusive data hog with insidious intentions.

Nevertheless, I am quite pleased that they are present as a disruptive competitor to other near monopolies in the telecom/Internet arena.

Ultimately, though it is sometimes messy and takes longer than I'd like, the marketplace, in the form of economic and/or political pressure, will continue to provide the protection we need, in terms of both securing our privacy and commercial choices.

As I've mentioned previously regarding other issues, power, ultimately, is **always** with the people. Either in the form of voters and/or customers. It is an eternal verity that despotic and tyrannical entities, either in the form of individuals (Hitler, Stalin, Sadaam, Castro, Assad, Mao, the N. Korean dynasty, etc., etc. [the list is long]) or gigantic corporations (Google, Comcast, etc.) should **always** remember.

Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK

I oppose google, but not because of privacy. I know a lot of people care about privacy, but I really don't, because I would parrot the phrase about not doing something you don't want others knowing you do.

Google may oppose marriage, but it is otherwise not so heinously evil that they're not worth using to break up a monopoly. Then again, them becoming a multi-service monopoly is a concern all on its own...

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