Comcast Time-Warner merger will create Orwellian monopoly
In George Orwell’s 1984, the world is divided into three totalitarian superstates, but in the world of broadband and cable television only a single company may soon reign supreme. Comcast announced today it has agreed to acquire Time-Warner, its largest and only significant competitor in the cable and broadband business.
Located halfway between the state capital of Columbia and the port city of Charleston, Orangeburg County, South Carolina is among the more geographically blessed areas of the country. It’s also one of its poorest. Over a quarter of its population lives below the poverty line, with a per capita income of $17,579. And this is poverty of a particularly stubborn sort.
When the Federal Communications Commission voted last December, after much deliberation, to create rules requiring Internet service providers (ISPs) to give users of the Web equal access to all content, it looked like a decade-long fight over the issue commonly known as “net neutrality” had finally been settled.
Last week, FCC commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker announced that she was leaving the commission to become the chief lobbyist for the newly merged Comcast/NBCUniversal.
Apparently Fred Upton's method of communicating is an even richer subject than I had thought. Two sentences of Upton's were so jargon-laden that they inspired a long meditation by David Roth: The topic is what Stephanie K.
Most Internet-policy issues are mind-numbingly complex and, let's face it, a little too dull for the broader public to sift through. So, if you're a small company caught up in an arcane battle with a massive service provider like Comcast, it can be hard to get anyone aside from specialized trade publications to care. Unless, of course, you say those two magic words: net neutrality. Just claim that the future of the open Internet is at stake, and your tiff is guaranteed to splash across headlines everywhere. Want an example?
Far from turning into a “vapid and hollow charade,” to use Elena Kagan’s now-famous condemnation of other Supreme Court confirmation hearings, her own have been impressively substantive.
Two years ago, I wrote about my long-standing problems with Comcast’s broadband and television service. The intermittent outages, the frequent slowdowns, the unavailable phone support, and the incompetent repair people, to whom Comcast had outsourced its service to customers. So why did I stick with Comcast? Well, the people Verizon sent over couldn’t figure out how to connect the FIOS line from the garage across the house to the cable television and computer. In addition, Comcast not only promised to be good but made me one of those $99 a month offers for phone, internet, and TV that I couldn
Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to begin writing “net neutrality” rules to prevent Internet providers from determining which content or services reaches their customers. Several weeks ago, Jeff Rosen wrote a magazine piece on network neutrality in which he argued that a lack of it can amount to discrimination, as well as restriction of free speech: The Comcast case is a model for the free-speech battles of the future, where Internet and wireless providers may want to favor certain content providers over others in order to maximize profits at the expense of con
Comcast, the Biggest Threat to Free Speech Since Nixon, by Jeffrey Rosen The World's Most Powerful Doubles Match: Larry Summers and Tim Geithner Go to Tennis Camp, by Noam Scheiber Ending our Age of Suffering: A Plan to Stop Genocide Once and For All, by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen Cohn: Is the Insurance Industry Declaring War on Health Care Reform?, by Jonathan Cohn TNR Debate: Tim Wu on Whether More Transparency Actually Makes Politicians Less Accountable, by Tim Wu Dionne: Just Because Many Obama Critics Are 'Angry White Men' Doesn't Mean We Should Write Them Off, by E.J. Dionne Jr. Galston Vs.