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What you need to know about the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger

February 18th, 2014

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Comcast is consistently ranked as one of the worst companies in the United States, and Time Warner Cable isn’t far behind. Consumerist ranked Comcast 3rd from last just last year, and by absorbing Time Warner Cable they create even less competition, which can only make things worse.

Prepare for higher prices. Comcast charged 4x for cable what european consumers pay, and even recently added a “broadcast TV” fee. The amount was negligible (as all additions are in the beginning) but it’s the prinicple of the matter when you realize Comcast owns some of those broadcasters. I guess paying for the channel only once wasn’t enough.

Prepare for slower speeds. Less competition means less urgency. Comcast is well known to be one of the ‘laggiest’ ISPs around, but recent hints that they slow Netflix subscriptions on purpose didn’t help. The cable giant is looking into working with Netflix, and color us surprised if this only benefits the companies’ pocketbooks and not consumer choice.

This isn’t just about entertainment. Of course television broadcasts incredibly important public services like news and weather updates, but the majority of TV-watching is simply for entertainment. However, Comcast is also the biggest internet provider in the nation, and will become even more powerful as an ISP if it takes over Time Warner Cable. The difference? This is important because the majority of internet users need the internet these days for basic services like banking, government services and even their own work in many cases. Not being able to catch “American Idol” is one thing — not being able to do your taxes is another.

Data Capping. This is the nightmare of any serious web user. Imagine literally having to count the amount of surfing you do (like you probably have to do with your mobile phone), and could be charged if you went over. That’s the reality we’re headed for and Comcast has been reportedly moving towards this, even if not directly admitting it.

is an Entertainment and News Blogger for TV and Dish Network.

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