-thesis: Comcast and AT&T should do whatever they can to stop Google from expanding its networking system.
Even though the access of media is the most important aspect of our society, the cost may be a barrier that causes people to have a doubt about. Those who have subscriptions through Comcast or AT&T (and couple others) should have a strong feeling about the fallouts that customers have to pay because of the monopoly. For more than $150, you are to be subscribed with couple hundred channels while you watch 10 or 15, and I do not have to mention your satisfaction of the speed of the internet connection (and yes, the last part is meant to be sarcastic). To top it all off, they increase the price every year. No matter how much you try to haggle your price, the price only increases in the end.
It seems like Google understood our frustration. For those who have paid attention to the ways you can save your money on cable subscriptions, you might have heard something called Google Fiber. Basically, it has 200 set channels and a couple of internet speed selections with a fixed cost (here is an example: services for Austin, TX). While Comcast and AT&T use price discrimination, Google Fiber tried to be as simple as possible. In addition, there are no (at least, not yet) reported “cheesy” charges such as “broadband service network fee” or “customer service additional charges,” those that we will never understand.
To argue with the side of Comcast and AT&T, those price discriminations (and bogus charges) have been a “necessity” to invest in better technology. The technological investments include merging with Time Warner Cable, negative ads against satellite providers, and ever so not-helpful customer call center. Of course, there are positive development such as Comcast’s new X1 platform and 2 gigabyte expansion in bay area to subdue the increasing dominance of Google.
To be honest, if you are not a software developer or financial traders dealing with big data analysis, you will not recognize the changes that Comcast (or AT&T) is making. Because your subscription is limited to the level in which you have to wait couple minutes for your Netflix movie to play smoothly, those investments that you made to the companies (i.e. monthly charges) is not worth anyone’s.
And the market realizes this. Those cities such as Nashville who was just selected for the next cities for Google Fiber project have worked hard to attract Google to install the service. Even city government officials have worked to promote the idea.
It shows that the supply side of media providers is still driven by the market, not by the supply side. And if Comcast (which has affiliate with NBCUniversial and will have minimal damage) and AT&T (which will take the most damage) want to survive the emerging competition, they have to get rid of the old system they are in right now.
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