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[Discuss] Competition of broadband

On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 9:08 AM, Jerry Feldman <gaf at> wrote:

> On 12/02/2011 07:44 PM, Richard Pieri wrote:
>> I see that Bill H. says that TV service isn't an issue for him, but it is
>> one. In fact, TV service is the root of how broadband is deployed in
>> Massachusetts.
>> Back in the 1970s, when cable TV was new around here, the MA legislature
>> decided to leave service carrier choice up to individual cities and towns.
>>  Most towns then proceeded to pick one exclusive provider, granting the
>> chosen providers a limited monopoly.  The primary reason for this is so
>> that all residents have comparable TV service, particularly in the
>> community access TV channels.  Two different cable companies wouldn't
>> necessarily share community access facilities, after all, thus most towns
>> picked one provider.  My town happened to pick Continental Cablevision.
>> Then Cablevision's assets in MA were acquired by MediaOne.  These assets
>> were acquired in turn by Southwestern Bell along with several other cable
>> companies back in 1999 or thenabouts.  The collected assets were branded
>> "AT&T Broadband".  This marked the end of cable TV competition in MA.
>>  Comcast acquired all of AT&T Broadband when SBC divested itself of the
>> TV/broadband services.
>> This is what many of us are stuck with.  Comcast lobbies the various
>> local governments where it operates with this tactic, "demonstrating" how
>> competing cable TV providers would be detrimental to their communities.
>>  Mayor Tom in particular is very, very "convinced" by Comcast's lobbying
>> efforts.
>>  I believe that AT&T Broadband was divested by AT&T before Southwestern
> Bell acquired AT&T.
> In any case, the issue today is that TV, Broadband, and Telephone are, in
> essence, much different today than in the past. Back during deregulation,
> the electric power monopolies were broken up into delivery companies (eg.
> NSTAR), and generation companies. (For instance Pilgrim Nuke is owned by
> Entergy). However, there was a time when broadband companies were required
> to use their cables to allow other services, such as Earthlink over
> Comcast. Additionally, phone and cable companies are handled differently..
> Verizon is a phone provider who offers TV and Internet services, and
> Comcast is a Cable TV company that offers phone and Internet services.
> Additionally, electircal power companies could also use their cables to
> provide services, but federal law prohibits that from back in the days when
> AT&T was the only phone company.
> The bottom line is there is a hodgepodge of old laws on the books.
> --
> Jerry Feldman<gaf at>
> Boston Linux and Unix
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I don't believe the internet over power was a federal issue.  FPL in
Florida has been doing this for quite some time, as far back as late 90's
when I lived there.  I do know that at the time they were having other
issues with how the technology worked.  Not to mention it wasn't cheap yet.

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