Reading Captive Audience by Susan Crawford Notes

So I’m a little under half way through the book. It’s a scathing indictment of Comcast that’s for damned sure.

I’m at the point where she’s describing the lock on sports programming that Comcast has accumulated.

It makes sense – earlier I mentioned only about 5% the cost of most cable companies net service is actual cost to provide the service, the rest is pure profit.

Well – even your cable box doesn’t use any special RF anymore. It’s all an IP feed to the cable box, and some video processing chips.

In essence – it costs VERY little to provide cable service once the outside plant is built up. But the tactics of companies like Comcast are to get that lock on programming. So then they hold other cable companies hostage for sports content, and programming since Comcast now owns NBC-Universal.

It even splashes over to what’s available on Netflix and Hulu.

The FCC needs to step in and say that the cable – the medium is a COMMON CARRIER and subject to full regulation.

The book even touches on wireless services. The voice portion of your cell service is in fact common carriage. But the net services to your phone aren’t considered part of that even though it uses the exact same cell sites, etc.

It’s time we as consumers start heavily leaning on our elected representatives. Because between wired and wireless we get screwed on a regular basis.

I look at empirical evidence where in France they pay the equivalent of $40 U.S. for net, phone and video. I pay $150 a month for net and video. So let’s say I’d paid $110 less a per month for that. Then there’s the cell phones, I currently pay $106 a month for two phones. If it cost $50 less we’re looking at $160 a month less.

But corporate greed in the U.S. rules supreme. It’s time we re-establish anti-trust laws, put the regulatory clamps back on all these carriers.

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