Eagan wants a say on Comcast’s pricing

According to Consumerist, Eagan is trying to regain some control over how much Comcast can charge for services…

Following Comcast’s decision to start charging $1.99/month for previously free converter boxes and a nearly 10% rate hike for some customers, the mayor of Eagan, MN, has written lawmakers and regulators asking for the right to rein in what the city’s residents pay for cable.

Eagan, a city of around 65,000 people, located just to the south of Minneapolis, used to regulate rates for basic cable and equipment fees, but in 2007 the FCC determined there was enough competition from satellite TV service providers in the city to allow Comcast to charge what it deems fit.

But the mayor says what little competition there is in town has done nothing to keep cable rates down. Further, he points to the FCC’s own reports showing that satellite service alone does not cause sufficient levels of competition to landline cable, especially when one considers that monopolistic cable providers are often the only ones providing high-speed Internet access to homes. …

Eagan is requesting the ability to restore local authority to regulate cable service and equipment rates, require transparent pricing from cable and satellite companies so consumers can see all prices and fees before deciding which service to choose, and for the FCC to revisit the effective competition standards created by Congress in 1992, which many argue have become antiquated because of consumers’ reliance on broadband Internet access.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

This entry was posted in MN, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

2 thoughts on “Eagan wants a say on Comcast’s pricing

  1. From a small cable company perspective, so I can’t speak for Comcast, I would assume that the rate increase is solely caused by annual programming fees increases imposed by media conglomerates such as Fox Cable Networks, ABC/Disney/ESPN, CBS/Viacom, NBCUniversal, et.al. These companies demand, and get, programming fee increases from cable and satellite companies that grossly exceed CPI each and every year. And for the privilege of carrying programming our customers demand, they require carriage of networks, at elevated and irrational price points, that no customer has requested much less even spends any time to watch. Furthermore, Comcast pays a franchise fee to the City of Eagan. Dish and DirectTV do not.

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