Comcast sues Vermont over the state's insistence that it actually provide decent internet


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/11/worst-company-in-america.html


#2


#3

Fucking DouchNozzle ISPs


#4

A couple months ago I went outside and I removed the Comcast wiring from my property. They keep calling me and asking about bills and money, and I refer them to their outstanding and unmet obligations to me.

They’ve tried to charge me for equipment I made every good faith effort short of driving 45 miles to drop it off for them, to return. The last tech who was here, who tried to reconnect my service before alerting me to his presence on my property, refused to take the equipment with him. Nice guy, not empowered to help.

I’ve written my congresspeople on the state and federal level, and informed the Atty General of my state about their behavior.

I hope they keep it coming. If I can afford 4G internet, I surely can afford some fantastic lawyers.


#5

#6

Reminds me of the way the telcos pushed back hard against Chattanooga’s public broadband. It has utterly transformed the city. Great write-up on Motherboard.


#7

The fact that our legislators pass laws for these corporations allowing them to behave in such a blatantly avaristic ways fills me with impotent fury and disgust for both the corporations and the politicians. In no way can allowing a corporation an unrestricted monopoly on nearly the entire state be of benefit to the people.

Yeah, and Ajit Pai thinks less regulation of ISPs is a good thing. Look at what they do WITH regulation. I suppose he’s right in a way. Less regulation is good for ISPs just not the rest of us.

This is the sort of thing that causes me to lose all faith in politics.


#8

And this just one of many reasons that I’m an anti-capitalist.


#9

Maybe I’m just that unworldly and that insane. It is entirely possible given my limited experience with life. However, I have always believed the entire point of government is to exist in the spaces where ‘people’ be it on an individual or corporate level, are unable to adequately act. In this instance, a corporation is following its apparent mandate of profit with the least resources used. This is fair as it is a natural human tendency to maximize output for as little input possible. So it is the government’s job to ensure that service is provided, and that competition is allowed to exist instead of stifling competition (by erecting barriers to entry and favoring incumbent groups,) and bending to the will of money oriented organizations.

So… yea, maybe i’m just that shockingly naive to think that all this is terrifyingly wrong to the point growing up I would have believed it only was possible in a cyberpunk dystopia story. Does that mean we live in a cyberpunk dystopia?


#10

If Comcast is going to get a contract with the state, then the state can make requirements as part of that contract, otherwise (logically anyway) they can ask some other telco to provide, you know, “let the market decide.” That’s how it should work, anyway.


#11

Except, in reality, comcast is probably the only entity capable of fulfilling that contract so they win by default.


#12

I expected better from the Sheinhardt Wig Company


#13

Yes, but without any of the cool androids and flying cars that make the endless rain in LA worth dealing with.


#14

For about the last 15 years, other ISP’s have tried to get a foothold in Vermont. But the legislature has consistently favored outright coddled the big names. First it was VTel, then FairPoint, then Verizon, then it was Frontier and now it’s Comcast in the latest round of corporate welfare.

Plenty of other local ISPs could fill these needs, and probably do it cheaper and more reliably, but the issue is how the legislature and governor coddle these big companies. They get 1. first access to state grants and bonds for fiber and infrastructure build-outs 2. monopolistic access to licensing by Vermont’s Public Service Board for right-of-way needs and 3. no checks whatsoever to their pricing.

https://vtdigger.org/2016/12/05/fairpoint-sold-illinois-based-consolidated-communications/#.Wba5k9OGMvA

https://vtdigger.org/2015/08/04/part-2-how-michel-guite-built-changed-vtel/#.Wba5xdOGMvA

For example, there was a VT company called EC Fiber that wanted to build out a chunk of the state. All they needed to get started was the approval for right-of-way, since they were self-financed. The legislature said no, let Verizon have access and Verizon took its dear sweet time installing fiber, while EC Fiber scrambled for many years, trying to piece together a functioning network. All the while, Verizon was charging unbelievably high rates for believably dismal service for its klunky network of DSL over old WWII era copper in the Vermont countryside, if you could get it. Most people were on dialup until about 2005. (!!!) Getting high speed internet in VT was damn near impossible except in Burlington for about 10 years, while the rest of the country had it on tap. And Vermonters were paying the same rates for their crappy <1mbps service while the rest of the country was at 50 to 100mbps… for a DECADE.

Tell me again how Socialism is bad; I love that story. Even the most socialist state in the nation can’t escape the artificial capitalist welfare system. It’s fucking sad.

So I’ve been trying to come up with an analogy for what this lawsuit actually is. This is a toddler who got a whole giant cupcake all to himself and ate the frosting off the top of it and is now crying loudly and mad at mom because his frosting is gone and thinks it’s her fault and he wants more. This lawsuit is at that level of maturity, knowing the history of these stupid, greedy companies in Vermont and all the tax money they have already taken from people.


#15

In a working, competitive market,…

A market would usually result in people in big cities having multiple options and people in less dense areas having only one carrier and those in the hinterlands being completely unconnected. For some problems, markets are just not an adequate solution. The USPS would be making very good money, thankyouverymuch if it didn’t deliver first class mail to Nome for the same price that it did to NYC.


#16

It’s hardly a capitalist situation when Comcast has no competition in Vermont.


#17

If you want to split hairs, it’s technically a monopolist situation. But I consider monopolies a subset of the great capitalist way.


#18

I so often struggle to understand how this country ever forgot that simple fact.


#19

What gets me is that Comcast has a 9.6% increase in revenue in High-Speed Internet this year [sauce]. So with no increase in service quality and a held market share they will not have to care for a long time.

It’s just a lack of interest in investing in infrastructure. Verizon was supposed to install fiber in my area. But then they sold their business in that to Frontier and all expansion halted. I had to call three separate telcos to even find out I was not in the area. No one seemed to know or care. Why invest when that would give you options we’d be forced to charge similarly for?

It’s such a convoluted system. I hate the providers so much.


#20

No. But we might wish to live in one.