Posted by: Mike P. | December 6, 2010

Comcast/NBC, and I Felt Like Writing

So, @GottaLaf (and she does) asks us to “Just Say No to the Comcast/NBC” merger. They have a good form letter there, ready for you to sign. But, I felt like writing my own today. I wrote it pretty quickly, so I think I missed a comma in the opening sentence. Sue me. You will get what a comma is worth.

The main problem with the Comcast/NBC merger is that in reality, Comcast is a utility company.

Not all that long long ago, cable TV was a luxury item for many people. We used to go over to the kid’s house who got MTV. HBO was rare and cool.

However, today, Comcast is the only source for broadband internet access for many homes. Broadband access is becoming increasing necessary for students, workers, and even consumers. Broadband internet access is necessary to stay informed.

Given that broadband is essentially a utility from a single provider for the vast majority of consumers, it becomes necessary to separate content producers from content providers to avoid creating a situation where the content itself comes from a single source.

We can argue technical issues all day long about how Comcast will not limit other information sources. But, for Comcast to not limit other information sources would mean that they are self-imposing limits on their corporate profits. We have placed the corporation in a catch-22 situation, and the loser will be the consumer. Without competition, the quality of the product will diminish, and of course control over the content allows a great deal power to be wielded.

For this reason, I believe that those involved with content distribution or production must choose one path or another. However, the ownership of the two must not be combined.

Michael J. Porter

Well, there you have it. Net neutrality according to Mike.

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