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August 6th, 2005

Fewer Choices – Hooray!

Americans like choices. That’s why it’s incredibly good news that the FCC has voted to essentially kill competition in the DSL market. Hooray! Fewer choices!

Oh, wait. No – that’s bad.

This is a duplicate of an earlier ruling by the FCC that cable companies didn’t have to open their lines to competition. They’re just saying the same thing now applies to the phone network, which was originally paid for by taxpayers. Sweet!

Moreover, this echoes the time when DirecTV wanted to buy Echostar (Dish Network) to form one satellite company for the entire US to tackle Comcast and its stranglehold on cable.

It’s all getting really silly and a little scary. If you want to pay for TV, in most areas you have three choices – Comcast (or Cox or whatever), DirecTV, or Dish Network – but if you can’t get a dish, you have one: the cable company. If you want high-speed access you used to have choices for a DSL carrier. Now, you basically won’t. DSL versus cable. Satellite versus cable. And Hulk Hogan versus cable. I’m wondering when we can drop the pretense that this is free market and is edging really close to a monopoly.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

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