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View Diary: Comcast admits what everyone in a TWC/Comcast market already knows: there is no competition (125 comments)

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  •  origins of cable service (2+ / 0-)
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    JerryNA, yoduuuh do or do not

    Where I grew up, cable tv didn’t exist until the late ‘70s/ early ‘80s. I was a kid back then and definitely remember cable being something of a luxury item that not a lot of people had. Even though cable is a natural monopoly I think it was never regulated as such because it wasn’t anything close to an essential service.

    Fast forward to today, when cable is the default medium for broadband access and there is no question that cable looks a lot more like something that should be a regulated public utility. DSL is an alternative, but only in the sense that it’s an inferior substitute for cable. As for fiber optic…the cable monopoly will have to be addressed long before fiber is reality for most people.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 01:14:04 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The origins of cable TV... (2+ / 0-)
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      stitchingasfastasIcan, enufenuf

      ...were actually in areas where no TV service was available off the air, which meant if you wanted to watch TV you had to subscribe to cable.

      But since cable mostly served out of the way areas and had only a small number of subscribers, it was mostly ignored by federal regulators until the seventies.  However, it was franchised and controlled at the local level, and the cities that granted the franchises had some say in the pricing of the service.

      That say at the local level was effectively preempted by federal law in the nineties, during the deregulatory fervor of the period.  A stupid law then, and it's even more stupid today as broadband service becomes a basic utility.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 10:33:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
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        enufenuf

        cable was originally just a way to get three channels if you could only get two by adjusting the rabbit ears just so.  Gradually, as independent TV stations sprang up and PBS became more widespread, it meant you could actually use the UHF dial on your old gigantic TV set that required a team of strong men with a dolly to move.

        Funnier still, I recall reading - in the summer of '95 or so - the obituary of the woman who'd created the first cable provider!  I rather imagine she's spinning in her grave at what it has become in these latter days.  Springsteen did a song in '92 called "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)" - now it's closer to 1000 channels, including various on-demand services, digital versions and other multiples.  Still vast piles of crap programming, too.

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