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(Ars Technica)   The FCC wants YOUR input on the ATT/DirectTV & Comcast/TWC mergers. Stop laughing, they're serious and won't approve the deal unless you OK it. Also, the National Weather Service would like your input on Sunday's scheduled thunderstorm   (arstechnica.com) divider line 55
    More: Asinine, mergers, Time Warner Cable  
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2421 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Aug 2014 at 9:04 PM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



55 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-08-08 07:57:10 PM  
They have to at least pretend to care.
 
2014-08-08 09:07:59 PM  
I hate TWC, but I think I will hate Comcast even more. But they don't care.
 
2014-08-08 09:09:17 PM  

fusillade762: They have to at least pretend to care.


Is it even worth the facade? I have a bit more respect for companies/organizations that just come out and say "we don't give two shiats about you plebians", since at least they're honest about that (if nothing else).
 
2014-08-08 09:13:45 PM  
Remember when Ma Bell was deemed too big, and was forced to split up because it was a monopoly?

memecrunch.com
 
2014-08-08 09:15:57 PM  
Has John Oliver released the trolls yet?
 
2014-08-08 09:16:40 PM  
fark COMCAST

That is all.
 
2014-08-08 09:17:21 PM  
If only people (corporations) who want, and have much to gain by merging media conglomerates are the only ones motivated to write the FCC and Congress critters, then that's all the excuse they'll need.

I wrote the FCC and my Senator- my Senator wrote back, or maybe an assistant or a bot did this time around, but they asked me to also write the FCC.

Take a few minutes and write them - you have nothing except a bit of your time to lose.

/nudges you
 
2014-08-08 09:18:04 PM  
Dammit, the farking filter took away my farking caps
 
2014-08-08 09:19:17 PM  
Let's play monopoly
 
2014-08-08 09:19:21 PM  

desertfool: I hate TWC, but I think I will hate Comcast even more. But they don't care.


Yep. And it's what I'll tell them. I doubt they'll care even as much as I care about what brand of pen you use, but I'll at least try.
 
2014-08-08 09:19:23 PM  
we need the rain.
 
2014-08-08 09:21:01 PM  
I don't see why I should care.
 
2014-08-08 09:21:21 PM  

BullBearMS: Has John Oliver released the trolls yet?


Anything come of this yet? I know they recently released all of the comments, but can't find anything on rulings.
 
2014-08-08 09:24:17 PM  
I don't think the politicians want to cut off their source of campaign contributions. Besides, the average voter has a very short memory.
 
2014-08-08 09:24:20 PM  
You're better off praying.

/atheist
 
2014-08-08 09:25:40 PM  
How many people have a choice between comcast andtwc? Between att and directv? This is very meh
 
Ehh
2014-08-08 09:26:30 PM  
I plan to write a strongly worded letter to my congressional representative when the TWC/Boeing/GE/Pentagon/ExxonMobil/BofA/Carl'sJr merger is approved.
 
2014-08-08 09:27:01 PM  
So all these cellular companies are used to charging $70/month, and now that they've built out their networks they've got to find something to do with all that money because they sure as heck aren't going to lower their rates!
 
2014-08-08 09:27:16 PM  
I know there's not a snowball in hells chance but tell them you want the UK system. That is the company that owns the network must allow any ISP full access to the network on the exact same terms as their own customer facing ISP. In the UK one company, BT who was "the phone company" like ATT was, still owns the network but I could start an ISP from my bedroom tomorrow and be able to serve the whole country and be competitive on price and speed. That's why I have over 200 ISP to choose from, and genuine competition. Also ISPs are allowed to install their own equipment in the exchanges and just use the last mile network of BT. This is what drives BT to improve their own network where otherwise they'd have no incentive.

But of course that's just socialism. If they're so against socialist healthcare they're not going to go for socialist internet.
 
2014-08-08 09:29:14 PM  
i1280.photobucket.com
 
2014-08-08 09:31:33 PM  
I don't think I have enough spare cash to have the ability to have a valid opinion on the merger.

What's a valid opinion cost these days? 8 to 10 mil minimum?
 
2014-08-08 09:35:00 PM  
But this will result in a bigger (corporate) person. Their speech will be much louder, and therefore better.
 
2014-08-08 09:41:10 PM  
I think if I gave them my input, I'd be put on the no-fly list.
 
2014-08-08 09:42:45 PM  
I am totally cool with the thunderstorm
 
2014-08-08 09:46:11 PM  

KarmicDisaster: we need the rain.


Damn right.  Every able person who draws a government check, SS/Welfare/VA benefits/govt pension, should be required to yell at clouds a small amount of time each week.
 
2014-08-08 09:48:13 PM  
Bring on the At&t deal as long the NFL deal come with it
 
2014-08-08 09:49:32 PM  

Flint Ironstag: I know there's not a snowball in hells chance but tell them you want the UK system. That is the company that owns the network must allow any ISP full access to the network on the exact same terms as their own customer facing ISP


I recently had a conversation with someone from the UK, and he was utterly shocked at the prices we pay for cable internet and cell phone service. $100/month for unlimited access on a cell phone he found entirely appalling, and damn near criminal, not to mention paying $90/month for 100Mb/s for cable internet. Sadly, that is the average here in the US. But hey! The Free MarketTM will make things better, or so I'm told.
 
2014-08-08 09:59:30 PM  

EdNortonsTwin: If only people (corporations) who want, and have much to gain by merging media conglomerates are the only ones motivated to write the FCC and Congress critters, then that's all the excuse they'll need.

I wrote the FCC and my Senator- my Senator wrote back, or maybe an assistant or a bot did this time around, but they asked me to also write the FCC.

Take a few minutes and write them - you have nothing except a bit of your time to lose.

/nudges you


Better yet, whack it. You're masturbating either way but at least you'll accomplish something by whacking it.
 
2014-08-08 10:00:56 PM  

Flint Ironstag: I know there's not a snowball in hells chance but tell them you want the UK system. That is the company that owns the network must allow any ISP full access to the network on the exact same terms as their own customer facing ISP. In the UK one company, BT who was "the phone company" like ATT was, still owns the network but I could start an ISP from my bedroom tomorrow and be able to serve the whole country and be competitive on price and speed. That's why I have over 200 ISP to choose from, and genuine competition. Also ISPs are allowed to install their own equipment in the exchanges and just use the last mile network of BT. This is what drives BT to improve their own network where otherwise they'd have no incentive.

But of course that's just socialism. If they're so against socialist healthcare they're not going to go for socialist internet.


You can do that here too I work for at&t and I use speakeasy now megapath over an at circuit.
 
2014-08-08 10:01:13 PM  
I can not express my disgust with Comcast's slimy business practices loudly or clearly enough. They are sleazy scumbag rat farks. Fark them in their little sh*t spewing faces.

That the U.S. Government is even halfway thinking about allowing Comcast to hold a monopoly on a vital service that the vast majority of the U.S. population relies upon disgusts me. Fark Comcast.
 
2014-08-08 10:10:44 PM  
The AT&T/DirecTV merger is probably okay.  AT&T has very few television customers and even with DirecTV they would still have a direct competitor in every market where DirecTV is available in Dish Network.

As for TWC/Comcast: Hell No!  Not even for the implications for cable television, but for the fact that Comcast/TWC would control almost half of the cable internet market.  That's far scarier than anything involving cable TV, which is far more of a luxury these days than the internet.
 
2014-08-08 10:12:08 PM  
Well, since i lost my farking job due to the TW / comcast thing, as TW froze spending, and put my drafting engineering job right out the farking window, i just have to say this. fark you all. Your back room deals cost me my job, and i almost lost my house. Thanks for being greedy assholes and driving the company i worked for into bankruptcy.

/Gives Comcast the finger. TW too.
 
2014-08-08 10:18:48 PM  
M&A is where the real money is.  No way to stop it.
 
2014-08-08 10:35:10 PM  
we have been using direct for our television for awhile now, can't complain about the service and the package we got it decently priced.  With the AT&T thing, I would hope they would offer broadband in my area.  My biggest gripe is that in my town, a decent sized town of about 20,000 when COX cable was here and left, Suddenlink came in and just started using the old infrastructure.  Well, AT&T at the time had DSL but I guess they don't have that anymore.  So U-verse came in to the area but there is a dividing line in town and in my part they don't have it, but where U-verse is available Suddenlink said it was their "responsibility" to make sure customers got the best service so the areas of town that have U-verse got their old cable lines upgraded to FIOS. Slowly but surely they say it will be all over town (been four years and still old lines here) imagine trying to watch a program on their digital band and it looks like you have satellite during a severe storm, or using their fastest internet but getting less than 5Mbps speeds.  Of course there were no problems when you called customer service so we switched to direct and just use the data on our phones.
To make a long story short, U-verse isn't all over my town yet but a small town west of us of about 500 people has town wide U-verse.  Go figure.

The merger might bring something good our way, but if people have short memories and can't remember what happened when we got baby bells all over the country, then we might just see the same thing in a few years


/can't imagine what the price would be if all they all merged into one big fat conglomerate.
 
2014-08-08 10:50:28 PM  

EdNortonsTwin: If only people (corporations) who want, and have much to gain by merging media conglomerates are the only ones motivated to write the FCC and Congress critters, then that's all the excuse they'll need.

I wrote the FCC and my Senator- my Senator wrote back, or maybe an assistant or a bot did this time around, but they asked me to also write the FCC.

Take a few minutes and write them - you have nothing except a bit of your time to lose.

/nudges you


I was all ready to start signing petitions till I saw this comment urging me to do so, now I will have to rethink the whole thing 'cuz I don't want to agree with you. Thanks, asshole!
 
2014-08-08 10:51:10 PM  
Anyone know where I can buy a decent umbrella?
 
2014-08-08 10:55:36 PM  

MugzyBrown: How many people have a choice between comcast andtwc? Between att and directv? This is very meh


1) Net neutrality?  What's that?
2) MegaCableCorp bullies Netflix into paying extra to send their traffic over MegaCableCorp's network.
3) You pay more for Netflix.  Even if you don't use MegaCableCorp.
4) Profit.
 
2014-08-08 11:00:30 PM  

RoxtarRyan: recently had a conversation with someone from the UK, and he was utterly shocked at the prices we pay for cable internet and cell phone service. $100/month for unlimited access on a cell phone he found entirely appalling,


I'm grandfathered in with the $25 Virgin Mobile plan. Something like 300 talk minutes and unlimited data (2gb and they start throttling). The only bad part is they stick you with old phones. If you upgrade to something newer its $35 a month. When my phone finally does crap out I'm going with an AT&T reseller. Their plan is similar and $30 a month.
 
2014-08-08 11:02:44 PM  

natmar_76: I can not express my disgust with Comcast's slimy business practices loudly or clearly enough. They are sleazy scumbag rat farks. Fark them in their little sh*t spewing faces.


Here's the thing... if you ever expect to become wealthy in this country with a clean conscience without playing the lotto, you either need to be a high-profile lawyer or high-profile doctor. You don't get wealthy enough to buy a politician or run a mega-corp without getting your hands dirty and farking a LOT of people over. But yeah, you're right.... everything these companies do, as sleazy, unethical or unconscionable have earned them a LOT of money.

And the sad thing is, we, as a people, have allowed them to do so for years, if not decades. We could vote in politicians that would push for anti-monopoly laws, or pick people that would run things according to the spirit of the law if not the law itself, but we don't. We continue to keep in power people who simply don't care, or are on the payroll of the companies. We could have representatives who make laws against former lobbyists for telecoms or other companies to be seated in positions of power over their specific industries, but we don't.

Instead, we get people like Tom Wheeler, who chairs the FCC, who prior to that was a lobbyist for the telecoms, with positions like being commissioner and CEO of telecom lobbying groups.
Instead, we get people like Meredith Atwell Baker, who was FCC commissioner in 2009, and an ardent opponent of net neutrality. She ended up voting in favor of allowing the controversial Comcast-NBC Universal merger. Not even four months later, she quit and took a job at Comcast. There wasn't even an official investigation on this. There wasn't even a goddamn window broken in a half-hearted riot.

You can do the same thing for just about every single FCC staff member. They come from telecom employment, get into power at the FCC, make legal changes to the advantage of the telecoms, and they go on to become employees of those telecoms. The FCC is a greased-up a revolving a door of ex-telecom industry personnel. According to OpenSecrets.org, "18 people have both lobbied for Comcast and spent time in the public sector. Of those, 12 are currently registered lobbyists for Comcast, with five of them having spent time at the FCC." Conversely, there are at least four workers in Wheeler's office alone that have either lobbied directly for Comcast, a trade group that represents its interests, or a law firm that advises the company.

This is legal, and we, as a people, allow it. And we wonder why we end up getting completely farked in the ass? We're farking dumb, that's why. Call it complacency, ignorance, naivety, or anything else, but the fact remains that we, as a collective of US citizens, have no problem with this. We enjoy having limited options, high costs, low service, and the people in the government pulling the strings obviously on the payroll of the companies, not even bothering to hide the fact, it is so legal.
 
2014-08-08 11:09:07 PM  
I keep hearing from fark trolls and morons that Austin is getting google fibre and we wont have to put up with TWC any longer. Sure, we will get google fiber here, just as soon as they legalize pot and Wendy Davis is governor. A couple of blocks of people in downtown austin is not all of Austin, no matter how much they farking believe they are all of austin. or how much they bribe the city council to destroy zilker park.

God just fark this city.
 
2014-08-08 11:14:26 PM  

Lee Jackson Beauregard: MugzyBrown: How many people have a choice between comcast andtwc? Between att and directv? This is very meh

1) Net neutrality?  What's that?
2) MegaCableCorp bullies Netflix into paying extra to send their traffic over MegaCableCorp's network.
3) You pay more for Netflix.  Even if you don't use MegaCableCorp.
4) Profit.


Netflix isn't dumb. They knew what they were doing. Sure, they openly complained about paying up, but they also know that since the bar is being set for video streaming services paying high fees to ISPs, it will make it much harder for competition to find its way in. That is why they never filed a suit against them or went after other legal routes. They paid them off, Comcast took the money, and both will reap the long-term benefits of the deal. If there was sufficient evidence they were being throttled (and there was), why didn't Netflix just go to the Justice Department and file a lawsuit or demand an investigation? Why did Comcast take their check and suddenly people had better connection speeds to Netflix?

The whole farking industry is corrupt.
 
2014-08-08 11:53:45 PM  

Lee Jackson Beauregard: MugzyBrown: How many people have a choice between comcast andtwc? Between att and directv? This is very meh

1) Net neutrality?  What's that?
2) MegaCableCorp bullies Netflix into paying extra to send their traffic over MegaCableCorp's network.
3) You pay more for Netflix.  Even if you don't use MegaCableCorp.
4) Profit.


It's worse than that.

1. Net neutrality? What's that?
2. You know, this Netflix thing is just tearing up our network. We have no choice but to limit them. What's that Netflix? You want to pay us for faster speeds? You know, I don't think we're interested in that deal.
3. Hey customer! Tired of Netflix being slow? Well we just happen to have a competing product that will give you nice fast speeds, for only $15/month!
4. What's this? Some other company has created a streaming tv/movie service, or some other very popular service? It's taking up X% of our bandwidth! You know, this is just tearing up our network. We have no choice but to limit them, and figure out how we can sell this to our customers ourselves for twice the price.

Make no mistake here...Comcast/etc could give two shiats about Netflix using 30-40% of their bandwidth. They care that 75% of their customers are giving Netflix $10 a month, instead of giving that money to Comcast. This is the real danger of losing net neutrality.
 
2014-08-09 12:12:58 AM  

RoxtarRyan: Lee Jackson Beauregard: MugzyBrown: How many people have a choice between comcast andtwc? Between att and directv? This is very meh

1) Net neutrality?  What's that?
2) MegaCableCorp bullies Netflix into paying extra to send their traffic over MegaCableCorp's network.
3) You pay more for Netflix.  Even if you don't use MegaCableCorp.
4) Profit.

Netflix isn't dumb. They knew what they were doing. Sure, they openly complained about paying up, but they also know that since the bar is being set for video streaming services paying high fees to ISPs, it will make it much harder for competition to find its way in. That is why they never filed a suit against them or went after other legal routes. They paid them off, Comcast took the money, and both will reap the long-term benefits of the deal. If there was sufficient evidence they were being throttled (and there was), why didn't Netflix just go to the Justice Department and file a lawsuit or demand an investigation? Why did Comcast take their check and suddenly people had better connection speeds to Netflix?

The whole farking industry is corrupt.


A lot of people don't know that Google and others already pay direct access to ISP's http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323836504578553170 167992666?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB 10001424127887323836504578553170167992666.html
 
2014-08-09 12:40:19 AM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-08-09 12:49:07 AM  
Hey if AT&T wants crappy picture quality, and lousy service. Who am I to say no.
 
2014-08-09 01:31:23 AM  

theflatline: Flint Ironstag: I know there's not a snowball in hells chance but tell them you want the UK system. That is the company that owns the network must allow any ISP full access to the network on the exact same terms as their own customer facing ISP. In the UK one company, BT who was "the phone company" like ATT was, still owns the network but I could start an ISP from my bedroom tomorrow and be able to serve the whole country and be competitive on price and speed. That's why I have over 200 ISP to choose from, and genuine competition. Also ISPs are allowed to install their own equipment in the exchanges and just use the last mile network of BT. This is what drives BT to improve their own network where otherwise they'd have no incentive.

But of course that's just socialism. If they're so against socialist healthcare they're not going to go for socialist internet.

You can do that here too I work for at&t and I use speakeasy now megapath over an at circuit.


I was going to call bullshiat, but I'll have to reserve judgment because their website claims that I can get service from them via both ADSL and cable.  I'll follow up with a call later to see if it's really true.

If I can get service with them, all I have to say is WTF?  Would it hurt them to send at least one piece of junk mail to my snail-mail address, just once?   Especially about 2 years ago when I ditched Comcrap?

My DSL works just fie, but it should be cheaper and their customer service is non-existent, which is better than Comcrap which has customer disservice reps.
 
2014-08-09 04:56:07 AM  
Ok, show of hands.

Who here thinks the u.s is basically just sucking corporate cock while taking fascism up the ass??

/raises hand
 
2014-08-09 05:39:00 AM  
TWC is involved in this issue?

Great.

fark AOL
 
2014-08-09 06:51:26 AM  
Well, look at the bright side.

We got a reach around this time.
 
2014-08-09 10:32:44 AM  
Comcast / TWC merger doesn't matter at all.  These are both cable companies so you have no choice between them anyways.

AT&T / Direct TV matters because AT&T is cable and Direct TV is Satellite.  You have a choice between these providers and merging will do nothing for consumers except make both services higher because one of their competitors is no longer competing.
 
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