When Comcast’s Business As Usual Turns Out to Limit Minority Access
Susan Crawford
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While I strongly agree that some form of high speed internet access is a critical societal need, the responsibility for ensuring that access falls to government entities. Smearing Comcast for not being as charitable as you wish and implying they’re racist to boot borders on libel. It’s not Comcast’s fault but government’s that municipalities are far more concerned about collecting franchise fees than demanding broad access. It’s not their fault that governments at every level are standing by while cable companies raise private capital to finance untold billions in infrastructure investments that MUST generate a return in order to attract the capital. Every city in America is free to develop their own system a la Chattanooga. Is it Comcast’s fault they don’t? The regulatory model is already there, it was used for rural electrification and for the deployment of the telephone system, but neither politicians nor bureaucrats appea to be willing to address the need. The reality that millions in the US don’t have access to high speed internet is a failure of vision at the highest levels of government. Ask yourself who has done more to deliver high speed internet to citizens. Cable companies and carriers and billions in private investment, or government at any level?

An addendum. I lease a small studio in a non-profit center. We have only one internet provider, and it’s slow and expensive. Comcast has repeatedly asked permission to wire the building. The landlord won’t allow them to compete for customers. There are tens of thousands of such landlords across the country. Lastly, a thousand dollars a month to deliver high speed internet to 200 users doesn’t sound the least bit outrageous to me.

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