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July 25, 2010


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Telcos never owned broadband to begin with - the only major market where DSL beat cable is San Francisco, and that's mostly because pre-SBC AT&T used to own the cable franchise here and starved it of investment so badly they didn't even offer Internet access or digital TV until Comcast took over about 10 years ago.

I loathe AT&T even more than Comcast because of their pattern of milking rotting infrastructure for profits while refusing to invest in maintenance or upgrades, unlike Verizon, with visible consequences as any iPhone owner can tell you. That said, telcos' prices for their product have declined or stayed constant, whereas cablecos' rate for basic and premium TV service have risen far faster than inflation, to stratospheric levels. Thus, if anything cablecos are far more adept at gouging their customers than telcos.

I certainly hope municipal broadband can rectify this, but don't hold my breath as the telco/cableco lobbies are in rare alignment against muni broadband, are invariably among the top 5 lobbies ranked by spending in Washington, and wield an army of tame congresspeople to do their bidding.

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