Comcast Policy Change Increasing Rates for Seattle Customers
My open letter to the Seattle City Council about Comcast's 50% price hikes on broadband Internet access:
In the fall of 2010, I wrote of my concerns with Comcast's billing policies in TechFlash. At the time, I expressed frustration that in order to get the market rate with Comcast, I had to call every six months, threaten to cancel and only then would they offer the market price for broadband.
This week, I learned that Comcast has discontinued its $42 rate for 15 mbps broadband. They now insist on charging me $62.95 for this same level of service. They tell me that I can receive a much lower performance of 3 mbps at the old $42 rate if I wish. Or, they tell me that I can bundle services such as cable television to receive the best pricing.
Comcast is a monopoly cable technology broadband provider to my home ... so it's quite frustrating to have to call the company every six months for the market rate and now to have a 50% price increase in what I've been paying for many years.
Qwest/CenturyLink can only provide 7 mbps DSL to my home. I plan to sign up with them and terminate my Comcast account. However, the 7mbps performance does not allow for the same level of performance that cable provides e.g. higher quality streaming video, uploading large files, etc.
I know that there are a myriad of federal regulations governing what the council can do to control rates and private companies such as Comcast and Qwest. However, I do believe the council has failed Seattle customers in not flexing its muscle more aggressively in our long term agreements that grant these companies rights of way to our neighborhoods and homes. And, now, I and many other Seattleites are forced to pay more or get less.
I thought it would be useful to give you an update on one Seattle resident's experience - which I expect is about to become more commonplace for other customers.
I hope that you will reconsider more aggressively regulating these companies. Affordable broadband internet access is a keystone of Seattle's future.