I switched from Charter to ATT because of the bandwidth cap Charter
started enforcing. I called Comcast and found out that they service
my city, but not my area.
Is that usually how it works? One cable company, one area.
Although Comcast has told me directly that I can't get service in my
area they keep sending me email and I got a call from an 800 number
inquiring if I would like to subscribe to Comcast. (Really annoying)
O'Neil to General Hammond:
For the record Sir, I wanted to blow it the hell up.
As a general rule, cable companies operating areas do not overlap. There
may of course be a few stray exceptions in big market areas or in odd
little pockets. If they keep annoying you, just order service to be
installed ASAP each time and let them go through the trouble of figuring
out that they can't serve your area each time.
You may like Verizon FiOS right now, but wait until you require a level
of service beyond a simple computer-initiated reboot of your cable box.
The customer service hell hole you will fall into won't take long to
cause you to start pulling out someone's short hairs. I tell you this
as a former call center employee of Verizon FiOS. The Customer Service
Representatives have a Call Average Handling Time of 11 minutes now
(12.5 when I was there) and their supervisors ride their asses if they
don't beat those numbers. That means you will be lied to, dropped,
punted around, and generally got rid of anyway feasible if the call
approaches anything near 10 minutes. This goes for phone and internet
My job was a Network Technician which only meant I was one level beyond
the CSR and if they determined the problem was beyond the house level
it would get sent to me. I was not bound to the same CAHT as they were
when working tickets so I could actually troubleshoot the problem. 85%
of the tickets I got were things the CSR should have fixed. The
remainder were network and billing problems.
As bad as Verizon FiOS customer service I have heard worse stories from
former Comcast customers. I was eligible for an employee discount for
FiOS service but refused the service and stayed with Cox
Communications. The superior product of FiOS didn't make up for the
vastly inferior customer service. After almost 3 years at the company
I was fortunate to find another job and get out of the culture of that
company. My personal ethics were being violated constantly and I
couldn't continue working there in all good conscience.
I've had both Cox and Comcast and didn't have any major issues with
either. I politely declined to get FiOS when it came through because
of my previous experiences with Verizon's copper land line service.
My last house was serviced by both Cox (cable) and Verizon (FiOS, if
I'd paid to have it installed,) not sure if we could have got Comcast
With all due respect to badgolfer and nate, the best service is where you
don't need tech support or in-house visits. We had a few issues when
starting FiOS, but none really since. One issue was with the phone on
FiOS - they had to do something in the CO to make the light for "there is
voicemail" go on. Took a couple of calls. Another issue was that the
radio on the ActionTec dropped dead exactly 1 week after we got it. Took
2 techs almost the wole morning to diagnose and fix the problem, in LARGE
part because they didn't know that the CO had to reset something to
effect a reset of the WAN IP lease to the new router with a different MAC
address. So yes, the service isn't as good as it should be, but it is
FAR better than the infernal billing department where it can easily take
MONTHS before an issue is fixed.
I'm happy with my FiOS, and don't regret ditching Cablevision/Optimum.
At least through September this year I'm all set.
There are very few locations where two cable companies serve the same
neighborhood. Rochester Communications was one of the few overbuilders and look
where they are.
Ignoring the black helicopter crowd, it's not any illegal collusion that
prevents multiple cable companies, it's basic economics. If you know a
considerable portion of your potential customer base could go with your
competition, would you choose to invest scarce/expensive capital there or
There are slightly more locations where the phone company offers a wired TV
service along with internet and voice (ie Verizon's FIOS or AT&T U-Verse). But
duopolies do not drive prices lower.
Generally speaking, local governments grant legal monopolies to specific
cable companies for specific geographical areas. No "black helicopters" are
needed to understand this simple self-interest issue.
The link you provided says nothing about legal monopolies being granted. The
reference to legalities in the article is talking about retransmission of
distant networks, not whether or not a cable company has a right to exclusive
You'd be hard pressed to find a franchise agreement that states the provider has
exclusive access to a community. Google "cable exclusive franchise" and you will
find just the opposite. Most franchise agreements are non-exclusive. It's the
economics that prevents a second cable company from coming in.
I think you'd better re-read that article a bit more carefully.
That's sometimes the case NOW. Now that competition comes from sources
other than cable. Cable fought that competition mightily, convincing
lawmakers to hobble the hated satellite providers with "must carry"
regulations. When cable was all you could get, local governments did (and
still do) grant monopolies.
If there's any "economics" issue now, it's one that did not exist prior to
satellite. If "economics" were the reason second providers did not build-
out networks, then why was it necessary to bar them from doing so using
I would imagine that the only way that can happen is if the local
municipal gov't owns the telephone poles that the cableco's would have
I can't imagine how else a local gov't could restrict trade / commerce
like that. Local gov'ts certainly don't own or provide any of their own
infrastructure that facilitates the provision of said service.
I'm not aware of any city in Canada that "sells" access rights to telcos
or cablecos or that otherwise derives some sort of revenue stream from
the companies that provide those services.
I guess the closest thing we have (and which many / most / all US cities
also have) is selling taxi-cab licenses.
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