Comcast: the only reason we're not ripping you off is that you recorded us

Around the same time that it dawns on people that spending 1 hour of their time voting every couple of years is no where near the level of civic investment required to maintain a responsive democracy.

When the average person is devoting several hours per month to civic engagement and we’re not seeing responsive government, then you should be really concerned.

Until then, the primary obstacle is pretty clear and it’s certainly not lobbyists (yes, they suck, but no new law or change in governing structure is going to give you satisfaction while still allowing the average person to continue putting approximately none of their free time into accountability).


In my town, I have the options of both (Verizon-owned, managed by Frontier) FiOS and Comcast.

Comcast Tripleplay starter (up to 50mbit/s) with no contract: $99/month for the first 12 months +additional service charges.

FiOS Tripleplay starter (Up to 15mbit/s (in my experience much better than comcast’s promise, because I actually get 15mbit/s, instead of being promised upto 50mbit/s and seeing at best 7mbit/s)) with no contract: $99.99/month +additional service charges.

They both basically cost the same where I live, and we play them against each other every 12-18 months. It’s truly wonderful to have competition, even if it is a duopoly. Comcast is always really focused on keeping us as customers and is always willing to charge a little less than Frontier. Comcast’s service is terrible compared with FTTH, but they are always willing to bargain. And when the balloon payment hits at the end of the first 12 months, if they aren’t willing to undercut FiOS, then we just tell them goodbye, and switch.

We also have a local ISP available for my address who appears to use the same lines as Comcast, but they only do business class, and are mostly focused on leased lines to their datacenter where rackspace is their real money maker.


Well, that’s at least somewhat encouraging. Then the question is how to encourage at least FIOS level competition almost everywhere.

I have to say one disadvantage of the US is that it’s a lot less urbanized than most other countries, so it’s much more expensive to offer services. As Korea has shown, density matters.

And if only they had easy, and quick, access to the day to day telephone operations…

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