Cable Industry Tells Feds to Encourage Stronger Cable Monopolies

In a move stunning only in its audacity, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has demanded that the FCC be gutted and almost all cable regulation be done away with. Among the things they want killed are network neutrality, must-carry rules (which require a basic package) and a la carte channel pricing. Their claim is that increased competition has made these mandates unfair, but I can't see what competition they are referring to.

Most Americans don't have much choice beyond the cable or phone company. Many people in rural areas don't have any choices. (Even Provo, an urbanized area, is only 95% covered by either Qwest or Comcast.) It reeks of a monopolist industry trying to circle the wagons. This is an industry that has failed to understand the market. (See previous article about the industry's tanking customer satisfaction rates.) I have yet to meet anyone that wouldn't rather pick and choose their cable channels for a lower price. Some would even think about signing up as a new customer if a la carte pricing was offered.

Cable companies aren't looking out for consumers: they're looking out for cable companies. If they want something as radical as total deregulation, you can bet they have an angle they want to play to increase their monopoly power, just like with the old 1996 Telecommunications Act.

(See full articles here and here.)

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