Product News
Cheaper Cable On the Way?
The FCC’s latest finding should pave the way for cheaper cable options.
November 15, 2007 by Ben Hardy

I’ve been dissatisfied with my cable/internet provider for some time. I won’t say who they are, because I’m afraid they’ll slow my internet speed intentionally (and THAT should be the only hint you need). Every month it seems my bill gets higher, and unnecessary and unwanted channels are added to my line-up. It’s like the car dealer coming and installing new, hidden cupholders in my car every month that I don’t want and can’t find, and then charging me for them. When I bought my car I was told how much I would pay every month, and that’s never changed. My cable should be the same way, right? Right??

Well it’s about to. I hope. The FCC ruled the other day that too few cable companies have become too dominant. Their imminent issuance of an official finding should open up the door to independent programmers and other service providers. Now the “finding” alone won’t illicit any change, but apparently it will set the table for some new rules that should limit the growth of companies like Comcast and Time Warner, specifically with regards to their omnivorous gobbling up of existing cable providers.

Lobbyists for these cable giants object, of course, but I have little sympathy for them. I see them as the reason my cable bill took a 50% jump in just a few years. And really, they cannot argue that competition is alive and well in their industry. In my area, if I choose not to go with satellite (as I have), I have the option of one cable provider. One. That is not competition.

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Ben Hardy - Contributing Writer
Between watching re-runs of the The Jetsons and convincing his Insteon and Z-Wave controls to get along, Ben Hardy is immersed in the world of home automation, home control, and home networking.

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