Tag Archives: competition Comcast cable Internet broadband

Competition, Schmopetition

This is a story about Amanda Lee, a Comcast cable Internet user, who was warned by Comcast that she was using too much bandwidth:
Lee, who said she had been using the same broadband connection for years without a problem, was taken aback. But when she asked what the download limit was, she was told there was no limit, that she was just downloading too much.

Then in mid-February, her Internet service was cut off without further warning.

Not so fast, broadband providers tell big users, Firms impose limits even as demand rises, By Carolyn Y. Johnson, Boston Globe Staff, March 12, 2007

So the provider gets to decide what “too much” is without even telling the user how much that is, and to cut them off without any further warning. Sure, there are technical issues with the way cable Internet service works. Those wouldn’t be a problem if users had a number of choices. However, in most locations there are only one or two: telco or cableco. Let the market work it out? That assumes there is competition so that there are market forces. There aren’t. As the article points out, it’s not as if broadband were a luxury anymore, either: people increasingly depend on it for business and pleasure.

More competition would be good.