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March 16, 2006


Ethan Urbanik

Isn't it pretty hypocritical to slam the NCTA's funding, when the Consumers for Cable Choice is largely funded by big business telecom corporations? This isn't grass-roots, it's Astroturf. This isn't about choice, this is about deregulating monopolies, which benefit from the total distruction of consumer choice.

Bob Stratton

I'd have to second Mr. Urbanik's comment. It's interesting that in all of the discussion about choice on this site, there's a complete dearth of information regarding the one actual countervailing force to the cable monopolies - satellite services.

I long for the days when a la carte pricing was de rigeur, and may well put up a C-band dish just to enjoy it while it lasts, despite not being in a rural area. The combination of inept government regulation, government-granted monopolies, and ruthless content providers has created a very anti-consumer market.

I have worked in the big telecom world, and while I will defend to the death any effort by other carriers to bring video to the home, I fear that the telcos will be as bad or worse than the cable companies in the end.

Let's face it, the telcos are attempting to destroy network neutrality on the Internet, and claming that some flavors of traffic should be priced differently than others. I have worked at a Tier 1 Internet Service Provider - There's only a very weak engineering argument for this.

If the phone companies are willing to squeeze Internet users and content publishers for a quick buck, I fail to see why things would be any different for their television services.

I am not in any way excusing the appalling lack of service provided by most cable TV companies. I simply don't buy the premise that telcos are knights in shining armor.

That having been said: Verizon - pull FIOS (your fiber service) to my house, and this consumer will give your TV service a chance!

Bob Johnson

Ethan, thanks for writing. You'll note that I'm not taking aim at cable's funding of the broadband coalition. I'm taking exception with the deceptive use of organizations' names who were not asked by the coalition nor do they endorse what the coalition is doing.

I'm all for a healthy debate on the issues. But I think its inappropriate for the coalition to take statements out of context, without permission and use them on the homepage of their website.

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