Washington Post: Comcast Is Evil

Meet the robber barons of the internet age.

Comcast, Washington Post tech writer Timothy Lee writes, has so monopolized the industry it’s able to overcharge for half-decent broadband speeds and not provide even those half-decent broadband speeds to those who won’t pay a certain amount. Because they are the only game in town in so many parts of the country, the company has no incentive either to lower prices or to improve service.

Comcast knows the majority of its customers are not going to pay much more than $50 per month for broadband service no matter how fast it is. So upgrading its (second-rate)Performance tier wouldn’t earn Comcast much more revenue than it’s already getting. At the same time, keeping the Performance tier at a pokey 20 Mbps makes Comcast’s higher tiers more attractive in comparison.

Take a peek at a place where Comcast’s broadband service isn’t the only game in town, and you can see how you’re getting hosed.

Comcast charges $115 per month for 105 Mbps of connectivity. That would have been a good deal five years ago, but it’s underwhelming today. For example, Google charges customers of its fiber network in Kansas City $70 for a connection that’s almost 10 times as fast.

Comcast/Kabletown, robber baron of the internet age. But they’re our robber baron. And as I’ve noted before, we have no choice in the matter.