Comcast Today: Pitching the Merger

Comcast takes out full-page ad in Wall Street Journal.

Straight to the headlines today:

In the hopes of further cementing support for their $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Comcast this week took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal. In it, Comcast offers a checklist of the wonderful things that users can expect if they support the deal.  At the top of the list is “net neutrality protection,” Comcast referring to their agreement to abide by the FCC’s dead rules Verizon managed to get struck down in court. Except that dedication doesn’t mean all that much, given those rules were intentionally-crafted by industry to be so loophole-filled as to be largely worthless. Also promised by the ad is a “more reliable and secure network,” “faster Internet,” “low cost Internet” (which you’re probably not going to qualify for) and a new pony.  Usage caps, higher prices and a perpetuation of the very worst customer support in any industry are curiously omitted from the option list. (

Netflix has released its latest comparison of the downstream speeds its customers receive from various ISPs, and in the short time since Comcast speeds bottomed out at the barely watchable 1.51 Mpbs back in January, they have nearly doubled to 2.77 Mbps. This makes Comcast the third-fastest major ISP in the U.S. (behind Cablevision and Cox) and the fourth-fastest when you include Google Fiber. These are also faster speeds than Comcast customers have ever seen in the time that Netflix has been publicly posting this data. Comcast and Verizon say that since Netflix is responsible for so much of the downstream data, it should have to pay more. Opponents of these deals say that if an ISP is going to market its product to consumers as delivering “the fastest Internet,” like both of these ISPs have done, then the should be doing everything they can to deliver what they promise. (Consumerist)

Comcast Corp.signed a deal with Time Warner Inc.s Turner Broadcasting to add full seasons of several TV shows to its on-demand offerings, advancing the cable giant’s push to be a premiere destination for catch-up TV viewing along with online services like Hulu and Netflix. The pact, which is expected to be announced Tuesday, will gives users of Comcast’s Xfinity on-demand service access to the current and past seasons of shows on Turner networks including TNT, TBS, CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and truTV. The deal covers shows made by Turner’s networks, not reruns of shows from other networks. Comcast says 70% of its subscriber base now uses video-on-demand service at least once a month. (Wall Street Journal)

A national survey of entrepreneurs and small business IT decision makers conducted by Bredin Research and sponsored by Comcast Business found that offering free Wi-Fi works better at keeping customers happy than common “waiting area” conveniences like candy, water or magazines. These “Main Street” businesses that offer Wi-Fi — coffee shops, bars, restaurants, retailers, doctor’s offices and others — are leveraging the service to attract new clientele, improve customer loyalty and raise their profile within the community. Respondents who indicated that they do not currently offer Wi-Fi also understand the benefits of offering the service in their location, and overwhelmingly their intention is to offer it in the near future. Those that do not plan on offering it – predominantly those that have been in business for 20 or more years – cite concerns over tech support, employee distraction and cost. (Comcast Business)

Here’s Comcast’s graphic on the survey results: